From Publishers Weekly
An assistant professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Arizona who has written about his life-threatening bout with cancer (Mom's Marijuana), Shapiro specializes in treating physicians. He recounts his experience with a patient and colleague who became convinced that she was incompetent. Dr. Amelia Sorvino (the name and other details have been changed), a young obstetrician in her 30s and very popular with both patients and faculty members, suddenly stopped working and announced that she was no longer a doctor. After several visits, she told Shapiro about the incident that had driven her out of medicine. Because her patient desperately wanted a vaginal delivery, Amelia took too long to finally perform a C-section, a decision that may or may not have caused cerebral palsy in the newborn. She is now being sued for malpractice. In honest and perceptive writing, the author details the ups and downs of this therapeutic relationship and includes descriptions of events in Amelia's own words. Sympathetic to the psychological problems that were undermining his patient's career and marriage, Shapiro was, however, sometimes plagued by hostile feelings toward her. In this very sensitive and engrossing medical memoir, Shapiro explains how, after Amelia attempted suicide, he had her hospitalized for a brief period, and he then was able to help her back to emotional health.
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"Explores wth startling depth and immediacy the question of who shall heal the fallen physician." –Elle
"A terrific read: deeply touching, keenly analytical and warmly amusing. No reader will come away unaffected. And no reader will fail to gain new understanding of the intricate web of skills and attitudes--mind and heart--that constitute a good doctor." --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Masterful storytelling. . . . Amelia's secret keeps the pages turning. . . . A fly-on-the-wall peek into a doctor-patient relationship. . . . a well-written, suspenseful story." --Austin Chronicle
"Like Oliver Sacks, Shapiro presents this medical case and its professional analysis from a unique perspective that the public seldom shares. His book is highly recommended for its naked revelations of the medical and psychiatric professions and its truths about the human condition, our frailties, and our vulnerabilities." --Library Journal
“There are a few gifted doctors and therapists–the neurologist Oliver Sacks comes to mind–who manage to bring the narrative skills of a novelist to their discussions of the disorders that plague the human body and spirit. Dan Shapiro . . . appears to be one of them.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Shapiro clearly shines as a gifted physician and an expressive author. His writing ambles competently from page to page, dishing insights in carefully measured, melodic prose. The underlying message is one of human frailty, compassion and a better understanding that we all are somehow responsible for one another.” –Rocky Mountain News
“By plying his own hard-won wisdom at having been both terrified patient and uncertain healer, he succeeds not only in ‘delivering’ Dr. Amelia but also a compassionate and stirring look at the inner lives of medical professionals.” –St. Louis Times Dispatch
“Dan Shapiro . . . is a psychologist who specializes in treating troubled physicians. The message is important: Doctors are not omnipotent. As human beings, they sometimes make mistakes and need healing of their own.” –Atlanta Journal Constitution
“In a choice reminiscent of Kay Redfield Jamison in An Unquiet Mind
, Shapiro writes about his own responses to Dr. Amelia's revelation. . . . Each season, book after book rolls toward the public pregnant with ruin. Here is a rare story about healing that seems earned.” –The Plain Dealer
“Honest and perceptive. . . . A very sensitive and engrossing medical memoir.” –Publishers Weekly
“[Shapiro] preserves an important message: Doctors are human beings who falter sometimes and must find solace before they resume their lives.” –Arizona Republic
“A fascinating view of the interactions between a psychologist and his patient during the therapeutic process. . . . A revealing narrative of self-discovery.” –Kirkus Reviews