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Inside/Outside: A Physician's Journey with Breast Cancer (Conversations in Medicine and Society) Hardcover – September 11, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0472115792 ISBN-10: 0472115790 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Conversations in Medicine and Society
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: University of Michigan Press; 1 edition (September 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0472115790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0472115792
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,663,510 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Breast-cancer survivor Janet R. Gilsdorf, M.D., is Professor of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases, Division of Infectious Diseases, and Professor of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, at the University of Michigan. She is also Director of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, Mott Children's Hospital, Director of the Cell and Molecular Biology in Pediatrics Training Program, and Director of the Haemophilus influenzae Research Laboratory.

Customer Reviews

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You will savor some passages, yet read the book quickly.
Jayne Thorson
This book is a 'must read' for anyone who has a cancer patient in their lives.
J. Richards
She is an inspiration and I thank her for writing this wonderful book.
Deb Aquiline

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Richards on October 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This beautifully written book offers several different perspectives of great importance as it takes us through the true story of a physician who is diagnosed with breast cancer and finds herself switching from doctor to patient as she progresses through the long, hard process of fighting to survive breast cancer. Many of us have watched from the outside as someone in our lives has gone through the same long, hard journey traveled by Dr. Gilsdorf, but often we only see the external manifestations of that journey- the lost hair, the lost weight. With this book Dr. Gilsdorf offers the rest of the story that we often don't see, the internal battles, the evolution of world view and self image, the shifts in relationship to others that grow out of the experience. The result is not a tragic wallow, rather the result is a rich tapestry woven of sympathetic characters, with pain and fear offset by touches of wry humor and insight. Dr. Gilsdorf also offers a physician's critique of the medical experience. This book is a 'must read' for anyone who has a cancer patient in their lives. It should also be required reading for most of the community of medical professionals. Dr. Gilsdorf took me on a journey from the external to the internal view of the experience that helped me understand the treatment choices made long ago by someone dear to me, and that was a precious gift. But in addition to whatever this book has to teach us about being a doctor, a patient, or someone in the support network of a patient, this book also offers enjoyable reading for anyone who would like to meet a most remarkable woman between the pages of this book. I loved this book and could not put it down once I started reading it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Open Heart Nan on November 16, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This is a beautiful story of a very hard reality in this author's very active and successful life. She shares her private fears and medical knowledge with us. This is a must read for those that had, are having cancer or know a loved one struggling with this reality and terrible desease.
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Format: Kindle Edition
For a physician to share both medical and emotional details of her own journey through breast cancer is rare. Dr. Janet Gilsdorf has done just that--though you'll enjoy this most if you are familiar with the language she uses, which at times is technical.

But what brought the book from a four star to a five star rating was her inclusion of the path she traveled with her family. Her husband, a general surgeon, was well-versed in his knowledge of breast cancer. Her story of what she went through with the fine needle aspirate challenged his views of what patients experience in this test, often a patient's first step in a breast cancer journey.

She treads delicate ground here, and does it with grace; I have no doubt that her family members all remain on speaking terms with her, despite her openness about their shared experiences.

I thought it wonderful that she explicitly states that her treatment for her particular cancer was state of the art, and should not be seen as a model of treatment for others--and she carefully explains why.

Inside/Outside shows a remarkable woman who happens to be a physician making hard choices and coming through the experience with greater insight into what makes for the best ways of supporting patients through life-threatening illness.

Nonetheless, this moving memoir is a story of privilege. It documents one woman's access to care that not all may be fortunate enough to have.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Anne Markusen on January 6, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book, and one that I would not hesitate to read over and over again; nor would I hesitate to recommend it to the best of friends.

With tidbits about her fulfilling and extremely accomplished life intertwined with education and insight about a very popular and unfortunate disease, from the prospective of patient AND doctor. I laughed and cried, and better yet, learned.

She discusses everything from the riddles we used to chant as children to preparing a speach on scientific ethics in Kazakhstan and the cultural experiences while living there. From grant writing to fund research projects to the way a rainbow arrives at the proverbial pot of gold. She is frank and tells it like it is, but with the most beautifully descriptive words and analogies.

We typically see cancer as a death sentence. Dr. Gilsdorf, somehow, made it improve her life and happiness ten-fold.

This book is beautifully written, and I'm am a better person for having had the joy of reading it. A must read for all who can.

I'll leave you with the following: "The person who doesn't read has no advantage over the person who can't read." So read and enjoy!
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