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Declarations of a Dinosaur: 10 Laws I've Learned as a Family Doctor Hardcover – August 4, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Kaplan Publishing (August 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1427798702
  • ISBN-13: 978-1427798701
  • Product Dimensions: 0.9 x 5.6 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Lucy E. Hornstein, MD has been a solo family physician in the Philadelphia suburbs for 18 years. She was born and raised in Washington DC (which has left her with a deep and abiding apathy for all things political) and attended college outside Boston before coming to medical school in Philadelphia, which, she has discovered, is a black hole. (No one born here ever leaves; no one who moves here ever leaves.) She has been blogging since August 2006 when she assumed the persona of ""#1 Dinosaur,"" a nod to the impending extinction of primary care.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Steven Kelly Grayson on July 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Lucy Hornstein is the embodiment of what the family practice physician should be. In a healthcare climate where doctors are encouraged to run their patients through like cattle just to make a living, Dr. Hornstein still insists on doing it the right way, and if need be, sacrificing revenue in favor of more time with her patients.

With wit and wisdom borne of years of experience treating patients in a solo private practice, Dr. Hornstein gives us an insider's view of the joys and triumphs of family practice medicine, and the obstacles that make her specialty a dying breed.

Healthcare in this country cannot survive without primary care physicians, and doctors like Lucy Hornstein are the beating heart of primary care.

This book should be required reading for any medical student considering a primary care specialty, because it not only gives us an unflinching view of the impending death of primary care, it also gives us hope that there might be life in it still.

Here's hoping her book will inspire a new generation of doctors to take up the torch.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maggie Gray on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Witty writing, with a lot of truth mixed in. Want to know how real Family Doctors make it work? Read this.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By R. Wolfe on February 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Being in a family of physicians, I've been hearing from them many of these same "10 Laws." However Dr. Hornstein was much more eloquent in explaining them in layman's terms to the non-physician population. She explains the 10 laws with a touch of humor and personal examples. The only things that kept me from giving it a 5 star, is the sometimes long ramblings about the body systems and functions, and also her complete distain for any alternative healing methods. What is wrong with having more "tools" in the toolbox? There is a time and place to try things like manipulation, acupuncture, and some highly researched and proven supplements.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Wow! I'm glad I listened to the positive reviews on this one, and let me chime in to add even more praise for Declarations of a Dinosaur!

This book covers everything, from tales of experience, side-splitting humor, and time-honored wisdom that only a practicing physician could deliver! It describes the human body and it's functions in a way I've never seen before, so while you're reading hilarious stories or touching memories, you get some kind of cool biology lesson with each bite.

Two notes of warning: There's a good deal of cursing in this book, as well as references to alcohol (non-medical reference is the kind I'm talking about, of course!), so I'd certainly put it up with a high PG-13/R rating, if it were a movie. I don't feel that the expletives were called for or helped the story to move along, but since the 15 and under crowd probably won't be reading this, anyways, it's probably a trivial note.

The second note should be well-heeded by readers of all ages, though. Don't buy this book if you're not interested in medicine and you have a weak stomach. Dr. Lucy does a beautifully tactful job of keeping things professional and upbeat, but as a lover of all-things-medicine, I know that what we can take in excess, many cannot take in moderation, so those who get queezy at the mention of blood, this certainly isn't for you!

Even with the above notes, I'd still say this is one of the best books I've purchased on Amazon.com, and I'm a total reading junkie!

This book is a wonderful expression of the practice and world of medicine, and Dr. Lucy makes a day in the life of a physician so real and tangible that you'll want to hug her at the end of the book...and perhaps consider becoming a medically prehistoric thing of beauty, too.

Thanks for the great read!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By anon on August 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a long-time reader of Dr. Hornstein's blog, I was excited to read this book. However, in a lot of ways I was disappointed with it. First, the good parts: I agree 100% with everything the author says in this book. She is absolutely spot-on in her critique of pseudoscience and "alternative" medicine, the healthcare system, the problems associated with overspecialization in medicine, and every else she says. She also does a good job of educating readers about common health conditions that GPs see.

Unfortunately, her message was delivered, in my opinion, in a very annoying manner. For starters, there was the introduction, in which the author paints herself as a precocious child and unusually empathetic adult (which she may well be, but would a little humility kill you?), all delivered from an cliched 3rd person point of view. She also has an ongoing Marcus Welby theme--she seems to mention him about every other page. Apparently Dr. Welby is some kind of fictional character from a TV show. I'd never heard of him before reading this book and I bet most younger adults haven't either, so I found the constant references to him tedious and pointless. I was also annoyed by the presentation of apocryphal stories as if they really happened to the author. A plumber charged you $5 for turning a valve and $195 for knowing which to turn? Yeah, right. Give me a break.

Finally, I felt that the book was a little too dumbed-down and patronizing. Some of the descriptions of medical technology are oversimplified to the point of losing accuracy; her description of how MRI works, for example, is incorrect. There are better books out there that expose what's wrong with the current medical paradigm (Overdiagnosed by Welch, Schwartz and Woloshin is a much better pick).
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