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Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And Fifty-Six Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor Hardcover – April 1, 2008


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Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And Fifty-Six Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor + The House of God + Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 120 pages
  • Publisher: Ten Speed Press; 2nd edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1580089178
  • ISBN-13: 978-1580089173
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 5.5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,825 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

* The perfect gift for med students and grads as well as new and practicing physicians.

About the Author

OSCAR LONDON, MD, is the pseudonym of an internist who practiced in Berkeley, California, for 30 years His humorous essays appeared regularly in the San Francisco Chronicle.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Very funny and short stories.
Beth A. Casady
This edition is a much more substantial, much more "stick it on the shelf next to the toilet and read during quality time" feel to it.
Kenneth LeCroy
Don't know what the fuss is all about.
H-Tim

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Dutchman on October 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having practiced medicine for longer than I'll admit, my sense of humor may no longer be entirely standard. London combines his love of people and hard-learned lessons of practice to produce these essays, fortunately of a length much shorter than Charles Lamb's. These transparently written essays may explain otherwise in-explicable physician behavior. "My daughter told the doctor she knew she wasn't pregnant, but he did a pregnancy test anyway." "My back hurts, and all my other doctors give me narcotics, but Dr London didn't." Other stories of his approach to back pain, stomach pain, etc, may make you wish he were your own doctor.

Don't expect him to expose the foibles of his patients; his sharpest barbs are aimed at himself and his colleagues.

I keep this on my bookshelf and always enjoy taking it down for a short browsing.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By GirlScoutDad on January 13, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
....if so, then this book will cause you a some serious pain! The pseudonymous "Oscar London" is not only a great and funny writer, but almost certainly an excellent doctor as well. And like all good humor, there are also profound truths buried within (well, okay, maybe the term "buried" isn't the best word to use in describing a book on doctoring). In this book, you can see Dr. London, with wit, comedy, tragedy, or irony, tackling all the very serious issues that stress out doctors and push lesser healers into burnout, addiction, or depression. Medical errors, insurance hassles, predatory "financial advisers", professional jealousy, doctor-nurse relations, difficult diagnoses, malpractice attorneys, incompetent medical students, long-winded patients, pill-seeking addicts: Dr. London has seen it all, and has a humorous or insightful take on it that will amuse all and help physicians cope with the significant stressors of practicing medicine. As a practicing physician, I think this hilarious little book is up there among the best books anywhere about not merely being a doctor, but becoming a good (or great) doctor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Reed C. Andrew on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The work in question is particularly appealing to physicians, as they have experienced what Dr. London is describing, having traveled the same road through college and medical school and private practice. His wit is keen and often it makes the reader laugh out loud . . . nearly unable to stop. Patients will also enjoy it, but the common understanding of physicians makes M.D.'s the real target of this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa Anderson on January 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Face it folks, anyone in the field of medicine works far too hard to loose their sense of humor! Its dangerous for your health. I will be the first to admit that my sense of humor has always tended more towards satire and pun than crack-falls, and this book serves it up! I even liked it enough to buy another copy as a gift. I definatly reccomend this book for anyone looking for a few laughs in a hard-working profession.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Joao Miguel Oliveira on September 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In one word this book is hilarious (although excellent is another word that comes to mind).

I don't agree with every piece of advice given but I admire Dr. London for not being afraid of going against common sense ethics and giving information that can actually be used.

The views are fresh, well written and humorous. A book anyone involved in the health industry should read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. Marsh on April 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
From the first essay, "Be Jewish," Doctor London's book "Kill as Few Patients as Possible: And Fifty-Six Other Essays on How to Be the World's Best Doctor" will surely keep you laughing. If you don't laugh at some point during this rather short book, there is little hope for you as either you have no sense of humour at all (which should be considered a medical emergency) or you have somehow been blessed to never experience a doctors office.

I've often been told that my funny bone was likely removed at birth because I don't find many things funny, but I cannot tell you how many times I had to pause to bite my lower lip to keep from laughing so hard that I would wake the house. Every few pages, I would stop look at my significant other, read a few lines outloud from the book inbetween laughter, and watch his eyes roll as he tried to stop himself from laughing.

Oh and "Doc" London, if you are reading this, you forgot one essay that you should have included. "Laughter is the best medicine." I'm sure if there is any truth to that, you will be curing more than a few people who read this book. And yes, I know, don't call you Doc.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth LeCroy on December 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The old version that I first loved was wonderful but in a bit of a cheap paperback perfect bound thing. This edition is a much more substantial, much more "stick it on the shelf next to the toilet and read during quality time" feel to it. If you are a patient, don't read this. Give it to your doctor, particularly if you hate him - because he or she just might die of laughter. There is humor but also wisdom and poignancy. It is more of a "must read" for doctors than Netter's Anatomy. The only con - I wonder why the author changed the content of the chapter "when you do something so terrible to die over, don't." The original story left an indelible mark and was what I felt the most powerful moment in the book. The chapter that replaced it was insipid and uninspired.
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By Carolyn Harrison on June 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Was a requested gift for a new medical graduate. Must be good.
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