Dr. Kathy Magliato is one of fewer than a dozen female heart surgeons practicing in the world today. She is also a member of an even more exclusive group - those surgeons who perform heart transplants. Healing Hearts is the story of the making of a surgeon who also calls herself a wife and mother.
Dr. Magliato takes us into her highly demanding, physically intense, male-dominated world and shows us how she masterfully works to save patients' lives every day. In her memoir, we come to know many of those patients whose lives Dr. Magliato has touched: a baby born with a hole in her heart, a 94-year-old woman with heart failure, and a 35-year-old movie producer who saves her own life by recognizing the symptoms of a heart attack.
Along the way, Dr. Magliato sheds light on the rarely recognized symptoms of heart attack and cardiovascular disease - the number-one killer of women in America - and the specific measures that can be taken to prevent it.
By taking us deep into her life and those of her patients, Dr. Magliato acquaints us with the day-to-day realities of her life and work. We see her frantically juggle a full and happy family life as the wife of a liver transplant surgeon (they each have bedside tables cluttered with pagers and cell-phones) and the mother of two young boys. We also see the toll that being a female pioneer can take, as well as the rewards of such demanding work.
Dr. Magliato's powerful and moving memoir demonstrates her love, passion, and commitment toward both her work and her family and reveals that, at the end of a long day, it's the heart that matters most.
©2010 Kathy E. Magliato (P)2010 Tantor
"[For Magliato] it’s not about money but “the thrill of touching the human heart” while balancing her professional life sans 'jacket' and her personal roles as wife and mother, never easily but with hectic good humor, authentic caring, and in this book, fast-paced, smooth writing that never bores." (Booklist)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
The book is a memoir of one of the first female heart transplant surgeons and the first female mechanical heart surgeon. The book covers her early life, medical school and the years and years of surgical residency. The later part of the book goes in to life as a married surgeon with children who is also married to a transplant surgeon. She is trying to balance a demanding career, and being a wife and mother. The book also tries to educate women about heart disease given risk factor and so and also trying to explain that the symptoms of heart attack in women is different than men. She also covers the problems women still have in going into certain occupations. Renee Raudman does a good job narrating the story.
Very well-written and excellent on the technical aspects of things, and I enjoyed all the blurbs about medical history and descriptions of the various cardiology "rock stars". Additionally, I thought the writing encompassed many levels of experience - not just the medical/surgical, and work experience in a hospital, but also aspects of home, family and spirituality.
The only negative for me was the way the author kept using the word "operation" instead of "surgery". The word has pretty much come into disuse in my vocabulary and I've come to think of it as condescending, as though talking to a young child. However, the techno-speak and the medical acronyms more than made up for this small flaw! Love the term for angioplasty: "laying pipe". Priceless!
Fictional characters in narrative
drama in the theater and out; with woman doctor as strong woman character, and it did get me thinking about heart muscle more.
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