Death of the Good Doctor: Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic (Paperback)
Kate Scannell abandoned her academic career in 1985 expecting to enter an "ordinary" medical practice in Northern California. Instead, the thirty-two-year-old physician found herself assigned to an Alameda county hospital's AIDS ward where much of the medicine she had studied over many difficult years was rendered irrelevant.
Working with AIDS patients, nearly all of whom were dying, Scannell discovered the inadequacy of the "good doctor" who battles illness to keep patients alive regardless of their suffering. By embracing her patients' unique needs and stories, Scannell reached an expanded understanding of her patients and of herself as a physician.
Death of the Good Doctor richly chronicles the intimacy of Scannell's relationships with her patients through whom the vast complexities of the AIDS epidemic are uniquely focused. It is through these beautiful, often difficult, and sometimes humorous portraits that the woman and the physician discover each other.
From the Back Cover
"This haunting memoir is an important addition to the canon of AIDS literature. Scannell writes beautifully and with an insight that escapes most physicians."--Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and Cutting for Stone
"Kate Scannell is the rare doctor who has been transformed by her patients. In this irresistible, informative, and enormously moving book, she tells us not only her own story, but theirs."--Gloria Steinem