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Article
June 16, 1993

Medicine: The Art of Healing

Author Affiliations

Beth Israel Hospital Boston, Mass

 

by Sherwin B. Nuland, 115 pp, with illus, $35, ISBN 0-88363-292-6, Southport, Conn, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc; New York, NY, Macmillan Publishing Co, distributors, 1992.

JAMA. 1993;269(23):3042-3043. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500230124046

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Abstract

This is a beautifully illustrated and very readable book that encapsulates the essence of medicine within 100+ pages. The author focuses on some of the major developments in medicine, beginning with the Oath of Hippocrates and concluding with Canadian Norman Bethune's selfless medical service to the Chinese during World War II. In the pages between lie 46 additional biographies or narratives, each of which not only succinctly addresses the important historical facts but also describes the less tangible human qualities that have sustained and defined the practice of medicine through the ages.

The idealism of Hippocrates and the selfless devotion to humanity of Bethune are contrasted with the gross unkindness and inhumanity of the brilliant Guillaume Dupuytren and the medical caricatures of Honoré Daumier, which mercilessly revealed the personal and professional deficiencies of medicine's leading practitioners. Each of these vignettes is beautifully illustrated with a colorful print depicting the event,

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