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Delivering Doctor Amelia: The Story of a Gifted Young Obstetrician's Error and the Psychologist Who Helped Her Paperback – July 13, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"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 (starred review)

“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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (July 13, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400032571
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400032570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #662,927 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
Very hard to put down once you start!
charm
If you are a fan of the narrative non-fiction genre, you will love this book.
"estherkim"
Good amount of humor and thrills thrown into the mix.
A_new_Goldman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By "thegorman" on July 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I saw the Library Journal starred review that compared the Shapiro to Oliver Sacks (my favorite writer) and decided to pick up Delivering Doctor Amelia, what a great read! The book is structured around roughly 30 therapy sessions between an eloquent psychologist (the writer) and his patient, whom he describes as a gifted obstetrician. At first the obstetrician won't say why she's come into treatment and as her story unfolds and the stakes go up you can't help but get sucked in. In my case, I read it over three nights and ended up sleepless. This book takes you inside the minds of a psychologist and a physician and shows how they talk and think when no one else is around.
I hate when people ruin stories so I won't give away the ending, but I will say that the book pays off -- I cried at the end.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "estherkim" on August 1, 2003
Format: Hardcover
If you are a fan of the narrative non-fiction genre, you will love this book. The author does a wonderful job of telling Dr. Amelia's story through his sessions with her, but also relates it to his own experiences of being a patient himself. It's hard not to be drawn to Dr. Amelia's character - and identify with her and what she's going through. Beautifully written, Dan Shapiro tells this story in a way that's clever and humorous, and has you captivated from the start.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nina Bennett on April 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is such a wonderful read on so many levels. The title is a perfect play on words, considering the doctor's specialty. The actual story of the gifted ob's misjudgement is fascinating. The account of the therapy which restored her ability to function professionally is equally fascinating. It is tremendously life-affirming to see the humanity of the doctor. Realizing how deeply she cares makes me appreciate my professional colleagues even more. Too often in today's healthcare environment we see people focused on billing and it is easy to lose sight of the sincere desire to help and do good which draws people to the practice of medicine. This book should be required reading for every medical school and residency program.
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A Kid's Review on February 5, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
I happened upon this book while looking for some new reading material and I wasn't disappointed. Shapiro is a psychiatrist whose practice has evolved into treating other physicians. This book focuses on one of his patients, a highly succesful and beloved OB/GYN who loves her career.

However, as Shapiro's work shows, all it takes is one bad outcome to shake a physician to their core and turn their life upside down. This should be required reading for anyone associated with the healthcare feild as it shows how insidious our litigious society is for the Doctor's who devote their lives to caring for us. This book really opened my eyes to how slippery the slope of malpractice is and how it harms both parties as they are drug through a maze of litigaiton by their lawyers.

This book is accessible for both the physician and the lay person.
Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
Put the keys in the ignition and take this book for a ride. As you watch where you're heading, Dan paints a breath-taking portrait of the landscape. Like Mom's Marijuana, the focus is a patient's struggle through devastating illness, but this time Dan is the caregiver rather than patient. It's compelling. Once again, I only stopped reading when I was overwhelmed by sleep in the not so wee hours of the morning. You'll laugh and cry, and grow.
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