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The Medical Detectives (Truman Talley) Reprint Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Though I have no connection to the medical field, I found these articles very interesting, and I think I've learned a lot from them. However, I wish someone could have added a post-script to each of the articles with an update on some of the information. For example, one of the articles (written in 1944) said that 2% of American pigs were carriers of trichinosis. I would like to know what the statistics are now. Besides that minor complaint, I loved the book and would recommend it to any curious reader who loves to learn about new things.
"The Medical Detectives" volume II is great bedtime reading, because the good guys, i.e. physicians and epidemiologists always get their villain (whether it's a germ, poison gas, or a disgruntled boyfriend). Volume II's twenty-three case histories date from 1947 to 1984, before the days when Big Insurance dictated how long patients would stay in hospitals and what kind of treatment they would receive. Some of the doctors in this book actually made house calls! A couple of the cases really stayed with me, because the patients were kept in the hospital for weeks at a time just to track down a diagnosis. In one case, a man had the hiccups. In the other, a woman had a headache. Can you guess what would happen to these patients if they went to an emergency room, today?
Anyone who is interested in medical detection will be both engrossed and instructed by Roueché's careful, detailed true-life mysteries. The cases contained in this volume range from the man who hiccupped for 27 years through the deliberate poisoning of a family. One of my favorites from 1948 is called, "The Fog". This does not refer to John Carpenter's famous 1980 horror movie, but a true story that is in some ways even more frightening than anything Hollywood could produce. It takes place in Donora, Pennsylvania, a gritty mill town along the Monongahela River, which is infamous for its fogs: "They are greasy, gagging fogs, often intact even at high noon, and they sometimes last for two or three days.Read more ›
You do not have to be a scientist to appreciate these accounts: being a real-life mystery buff will do. Rouche, now deceased, wrote with an intelligence and clarity that should be the model for--and envy of--all writers.
"The Medical Detectives" includes some of my favorite tales--I've been reading and re-reading Rouche for a long time: "Eleven Blue Men," the discovery on the sidewalks of New York of eleven men who were bright blue; "The Huckleby Hogs," one of the first-ever journalistic accounts of the hazards of mercury poisoning; "Aspirin," about the history, benefits and, yes, the dangers of aspirin.
I highly recommend "The Medical Detectives." Other collections of his articles can be found in your library, and include "Eleven Blue Men," and "The Incurable Wound."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The Medical Detectives
Berton Roueché was born and raised in Kansas City and educated at the University of Missouri. Read more
The author presents very intriguing cases of ailments that had perplexed doctors. It's a very well-written book and left me wanting to read more works in this genre.Published 6 months ago by donmarie
This is an odd mixture of clinical and folksy writing. Medical terms are unexplained while the most elementary terms are presented in great detail. Read morePublished 11 months ago by gloria piper
Gentle, lovely, scary. An acquired taste for readers who later grew into gobblers of blood, gore, and zombies. Read morePublished 12 months ago by John Neufeld
This book is like a collection of stories that House episodes are based upon. Some stories are completely riviting. Great intro to epidemiology via case studies.Published on April 17, 2014 by Amelia C Bumsted