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AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic: An Oral History 1st Edition

4 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0195152395
ISBN-10: 0195152395
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Longtime collaborators Bayer (of Columbia University's School of Public Health) and Oppenheimer (of Brooklyn College) team up again to deliver a solid, largely anecdotal account of the AIDS epidemic through the eyes of the doctors who have witnessed it. Organized into a chronological narrative, this collective oral historyAbased on interviews with 75 gay and straight physiciansAsurveys the central medical and social issues of each era of the epidemic. From the early 1980s, when gay males with suppressed immune systems suddenly began dying of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia, to the more recent years marked by treatment breakthroughs, Bayer and Oppenheimer (who together coedited Confronting Drug Policy: Illicit Drugs in a Free Society) showcase the physicians' words. Interviewees describe how frustrated they were initially at not being able to help their relatively young patients, and how anxious they were before they knew how the disease was transmitted, about their own safety and the safety of the gay community. As the book moves on to consider the years during which the epidemic widened to include drug users, some of the doctor-participants candidly admit that they did not feel the same degree of concern for that population. Interviewees then recall extraordinarily committed medical colleagues who tried to give patients emotional comfort as a palliative treatment and the networks they eventually created to support one another. Through the physician's experiences, Bayer and Oppenheimer trace the emergence of drug therapies and attendant controversies, as well as the treatment "partnerships" doctors eventually began creating with patients who demanded the newest drugs, whether or not they were legal or proven effective. Filled with stories, this account will be of interest to medical historians, physicians and AIDS activists. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

This emotionally charged oral history looks at the collective memories of 75 doctors who have been active in the treatment of AIDS patients since the earliest years of the epidemic and illustrates how the disease has affected their lives and careers. Although Bayer (Blood Feuds: AIDS, Blood, and the Politics of Medical Disaster) and Oppenheimer (Confronting Drug Policy: Illicit Drugs in a Free Society) purposely sought out doctors with diverse backgrounds and beliefs, the recollections are often strikingly similar. The book begins with an in-depth description of the early years of confusion, frustration, fear, and rejection and then proceeds to a discussion of the coping strategies that the doctors developed as they constantly confronted death. The latter part of the book provides opinions on clinical drug trials and the pros and cons of current treatments. A glossary of AIDS-related medical terms and brief biographies of the physicians are included. While Abraham Verghese's My Own Country (LJ 4/1/99) and Peter Selwyn's Surviving the Fall (LJ 3/1/98) offer one doctor's perspective, this book is impressive because it ranges widely over the experiences of so many physicians. Often brutally honest and always riveting, it is highly recommended for all libraries.DTina Neville, Univ. of South Florida Lib., St. Petersburg
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 1 edition (May 16, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195152395
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195152395
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.9 x 6.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #636,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on August 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This book tells the history of the first 10 years of the AIDS epidemic through the voices of the women and men who overcame fear and channeled excitement to treat people with this devastating illness. These care givers built careers but also worried about the impact of HIV on their own families. Because this is a history told by the physicians themselves, and is not just a history with occasional quotes, it has an immediacy and humanity that is often lacking in histories. The authors briefly explain their technique of interviewing and selecting passages for the book. Despite the possibility of bias in presentation, because of the ability of the physicians to suppress their own words, the tensions, excitement, fear, pride, and love come through and make this a worthwhile book to read. Whether the reader is interested in the development of the epidemic or the personalities of the physicians who were active during those early years, s/he will be touched by this book.
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Format: Paperback
When the AIDS epidemic first broke out in 1981, many doctors did not participate in the research, treatment, or hope for the disease. Those that did had their lives changed forever. These were the doctors who were not afraid of accepting patients whom they were not sure they could cure. This was a new and very different disease than any of these doctors had ever come in contact with, and to try and treat it was honorable and extremely optimistic. AIDS Doctors: Voices from the Epidemic is a book which captures the story of AIDS since it's very (known) existence in America from the viewpoint of AIDS doctors.
The authors Bayer and Oppenheimer interviewed 75 doctors, each with their own stories, for a total of 300 hours adding to research for the book. The doctors included researchers, doctors who treated AIDS patients, and directors of AIDS programs. Almost half of the doctors were gay, all of whom wanted to help their gay community find answers about why this epidemic was predominant in their community. The goal of Bayer and Oppenheimer was to write a book portraying the effects of AIDS on doctors, and how the doctors dealt with the epidemic on the emotional side.
The book was very emotional, with the doctors giving examples of interviews with patients which resulted in tears by both parties. Many of the doctors wrote about their patients' moving stories, while others wrote biographies. Even a few of the doctors interviewed were diagnosed with AIDS. Most of the doctors were still angry at the government and scientists for not taking a more proactive stance towards the disease when it was first introduced, and it showed through in their interviews.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Fascinating and well researched. Interviews with dozens of doctors struggling with this new and horrible disease. Covers each milestone in treatment and research for a cure through the eyes of physicians working in all areas. The authors draw out sincere and personal stories.
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i've hardly started reading, but though the text seems wonderful, as other reviews state, the scanning conversion is dreadful--uneven type and thus hard to read. and not one would expect for an OUP publication. I'm sorry I purchased it. First time I've had a bad in-copyright kindle purchase.
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