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November 1958

At Doctor Mac's.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(5):848-849. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00260220164022

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Tuberculosis and the busy beehive of the sanatorium life of the tuberculous provided the theme of one of the great books about medicine, Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain." Peter Quince's most recent book, "At Doctor Mac's," with the subtitle "A Documentary Entertainment," certainly will be compared with "The Magic Mountain" and in most respects very favorably. It may be looked upon as the biography of an institution. Its scope embraces three levels of organization: the organic life of an institution, in this case a sanatorium; the people who are sick and thus reluctant guests, and those who minister unto them. The feelings and sensations of a person with a chronic disease like tuberculosis are described vividly for us and are embodied clinically in the different characters, each of whom is drawn with a strong sense of reality. There is another set of intertwining lives, those of the physicians, nurses, and

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