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Books, Journals, New Media
August 25, 2004


Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; David H. Morse, MS, University of Southern California, Norris Medical Library, Journal Review Editor.

JAMA. 2004;292(8):981-982. doi:10.1001/jama.292.8.981-b

Sociologist Arthur Frank has been an important narrator of the experience of illness and observer of doctor-patient interactions since his account of his own cancer and a heart attack described in At the Will of the Body in 1991. His second book, The Wounded Storyteller, examined first-person illness narratives more broadly as vehicles for self-reflection and discovery. With his latest book, The Renewal of Generosity, Frank turns his attention to what he sees as the problem of demoralized medicine and a lack of generosity in caregiving. In the introduction, Frank responds to the question of whether he had ever expressed "unqualified gratitude" to the doctors who had treated him when he had cancer. He answers that he hadn't. He also notes that his physicians had often not treated him with unqualified compassion. He is troubled by this and wonders what went wrong.