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The Woman with a Worm in Her Head: And Other True Stories of Infectious Disease Paperback – December 6, 2002
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“Nagami zooms in like a microscope on infections. She presents them, with all their drama, in the context of how they alter patients' and doctors' lives. Along the way, she conveys an amazing amount of medical information that's easy to absorb. Using her sharp storytelling skills, she illustrates for us how vulnerable we all are to microscopic intruders and how having the right doctor on our side can mean the difference between living and becoming another statistic in the morbidity reports.” ―Jane E. Allen, Los Angeles Times
“In the tradition of Microbe Hunters, The Woman with a Worm in Her Head is a fascinating account of a physician's struggles on behalf of her patients against the terrifying underworld of infectious diseases. Dr. Nagami is a compelling writer whose insatiable curiosity about bacteria and viruses never comes at the expense of those who suffer from them.” ―Frank Huyler, M.D., author of The Blood of Strangers
“The Woman with a Worm in Her Head brings us the excitement of the fight against infections, the human drama that surrounds their impact, and helps us understand how to avoid them. The reader will be swept up in the detective story behind finding the culprits and the human story that surrounds each case. This book successfully explores the interface between the sick patient and the all-too-human physician who comes with implacable weapons of modern medical technology, but more important, her own feelings, strengths, and weaknesses.” ―C.J. Peters, M.D., author of Virus Hunter
“A physician of great medical skills and writing talent . . . Nagami, in her fine book, conveys her humanness, warmth, and caring concern as a physician, and as a person. She helps reestablish our faith in medical practice. After reading The Woman with a Worm in Her Head, at the first sign of microbial invasion you would want to call her to take care of you. I know I would.” ―Robert S. Desowitz, Ph.D., author of The Malaria Capers
“[In The Woman with a Worm in Her Head] the vigor of hope is preserved, even in the face of the final incapacity. The depth of a humane vision is maintained to the end. The physician's own failings and shortcomings (for there is a limit to medical skills, despite the much-vaunted progress) are made into a route of escape from a ruinous sense of superiority . . . We all enjoy the physician's chronicle of the mighty struggle. It is a war that concerns us all, whose episodes are always fascinating. All the more so when told, as in these pages directly, truthfully, and clearly, by a front-line veteran.” ―F. Gonzalez-Crussi, M.D., Emeritus Professor of Pathology (from the foreword to Maneater)
“Gripping . . . clear and engaging . . . if you can stand excursions into the gut-wrenching, high-risk precincts of medical science, you will read and enjoy this from beginning to end.” ―Arno Karlen, The Washington Post
Top Customer Reviews
That said I love her book. It helps that I recognize many of the characters. It helps, too, that I can hear her voice as I read it (partly because she has read excerpts to us on rounds). It is, nonetheless, an inspiring, touching, and, yes, educational work. Oh, and even though physicians who read it will find it educational that does not mean that it is in any way outside comprehension of other readers. I was tempted to skim past some of the short, plain language explanations aimed at the lay reader, but found even those sections to be helpful to the flow of the text. Not condescending, not verbose--just part of the story.
This is a wonderful book I would recommend to anyone. Sure it has particular appeal to those with special interest in health-related issues, it is also a pleasant look at humanism and spirituality.
Thanks, Dr. Nagami.
By Pamela Nagami M.D., F. Gonzalez-Crussi
It’s become obvious to me that the more I enjoy reading a book, the faster I write the review — hence my writing this review a few weeks after finishing the book.
The Woman with a Worm in Her Head: And Other True Stories of Infectious Disease was well-written and quite interesting, but it left me confused as to what I was reading. Was I reading a book about Dr Nagami or was I reading a book about her work with infectious diseases?
This was one of the few books I’ve purchased based on Amazon Recommendations and the fact that it was highly rated by customers like myself who read the book. In fact, the title, “The Woman with a Worm in Her Head: And Other True Stories of Infectious Disease” implied that this book would be about the diseases, Dr Nagami’s diagnosis and the outcomes. Instead, I was treated to at least quarter to a third of this book being about Dr Nagami herself.
Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind reading about the long and tortuous road a physician travelled to receive an M.D. degree, but I just wish the book didn’t sell itself as a book about disease but a book about a doctor and disease.
A minor quibble, but one that I hope other publishers will heed. There are a number of readers who are interested in the subject, be it objective narratives such as those from Berton Roueche or Jonathan A. Edlow, M.D. book, “The Deadly Dinner Party: and Other Medical Detective Stories” or this book, “The Woman with a Worm in Her Head.” Please tell us what we are in for – we’ll make up our own minds as to if we want to read it or not.
Anyway, to the book itself. I enjoyed it.Read more ›
The other odd thing about this book was the mundane details of her schedule. Did I care what her days off were? Or where and what she did with her children? No, I did not, and I doubt anyone would. Her editor should have caught these and eliminated them or at least made them fit the story. Perhaps even explain why the author felt it so necessary to include these details that only she and her friends and family might care about.
I prefer other books I've read about Infectious Diseases, of which there are many.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This narrative of case studies in infectious diseases is fascinating. Her account of being in ID at the onset of AIDS was very interesting. Read morePublished 9 days ago by Can't stop reading
What a great book of true medical challenges from an even better storyteller. It almost seems humorous from a veterinary perspective for we deal on a daily basis with parasites... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Too Little Space
Interesting stories full of information, but only for those into topics of the sort. Not for everyone. At times too detail ed in feelings at times in scien, but a fiar read .Published 3 months ago by Grettel Siegert
Loved this. Fascinating journey into places you'd never imagine traveling. And! Thank the stars above for an amazing brain such as Dr .Nagami!
Great read. Read more
This was a REALLY interesting book about one infectious disease doctor's most baffling cases. (You do not have to have a medical background to understand the cases, either. Read morePublished 6 months ago by N. Gillispie
This book is awesome. It shows you a very unique look at what its like to be a physician. It is a little "gross" in places but that is part of the subject matter. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Cait
Well-written, interesting. Like some of the other reviewers, I would prefer there to be less digressions about personal history and family life of the author and more focus on the... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Vahan