[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
January 2018

Unanticipated Outcomes: A Medical Memoir—A Book Review

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute, Portland, Oregon
  • 2Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health
  • 3Center for Health Care Ethics, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland
JAMA Intern Med. 2018;178(1):11-12. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.6573

Unanticipated Outcomes: A Medical Memoir is the story of Jerome P. Kassirer, MD, MPH, who was born at the height of the Great Depression, grew up in a “two story-rat infested wooden house”1(p16) in Buffalo, New York, and, in 1991, became the sixth Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). Kassirer’s memoir1 takes us through the life of a legendary figure in modern medicine, a man who, above all else, embodied what it meant to be, and, what it still means to be, a professional. At a time when we increasingly read about disillusionment and burnout among physicians, the high costs of drugs and care, and the corrupting influences of money on medicine, Kassirer’s book1 reminds us why we became doctors. His life lessons are timeless.