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One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine | [Brendan Reilly]

One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine

An epic story told by a unique voice in Ameri­can medicine, One Doctor describes life-changing experiences in the career of a distinguished physi­cian. In riveting first-person prose, Dr. Brendan Reilly takes us to the front lines of medicine today.
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Publisher's Summary

An epic story told by a unique voice in Ameri­can medicine, One Doctor describes life-changing experiences in the career of a distinguished physi­cian. In riveting first-person prose, Dr. Brendan Reilly takes us to the front lines of medicine today.

Whipsawed by daily crises and frustra­tions, Reilly must deal with several daunting challenges simultaneously: the extraordinary patients under his care on the teeming wards of a renowned teaching hospital; the life-threatening illnesses of both of his ninety-year-old parents; and the tragic memory of a cold case from long ago that haunts him still.

As Reilly's patients and their families survive close calls, struggle with heartrending decisions, and confront the limits of medicine's power to cure, One Doctor lays bare a fragmented, depersonal­ized, business-driven health-care system where real caring is hard to find.

Every day, Reilly sees patients who fall through the cracks and suffer harm because they lack one doctor who knows them well and relentlessly advocates for their best interests.

Filled with fascinating characters in New York City and rural New England-people with dark secrets, mysterious illnesses, impos­sible dreams, and many kinds of courage - One Doctor tells their stories with sensitivity and empathy, reminding us of professional values once held dear by all physicians.

But medicine has changed enormously during Reilly's career, for both better and worse, and One Doctor is a cautionary tale about those changes. It is also a hopeful, inspiring account of medicine's poten­tial to improve people's lives, Reilly's quest to understand the "truth" about doctoring, and a moving testament to the difference one doctor can make.

©2013 Brendan Reilly, M.D. (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

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  •  
    Jan 06-20-14
    Jan 06-20-14 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simply Brilliant"

    Dr. Reilly has distilled a life time of his knowledge, experience and insight into this enlightening and engaging book about health care. Although full of interesting experiences from his practice, this is not similar to a James Herriot book... you have to think and process... he has many messages that need saying in todays world. I will also mention here that his account weaves like a macramé and if you don't listen closely you will miss threads that you really need to remember - I re-wound multiple times to get back into gear.

    I've been a nurse about as long as "Brenden" has been a doctor and his writing is truth, not sugar coated... I have been right there facing the same challenges. He has expressed the things I would like to tell my aging parents, siblings and children (most especially the son with the MD behind his name) in a way I never could. There are no pat answers found here, rather he shares stories that raise questions and cause you to think about "your doctor," family, choices, guilt, aging, death, resources, quality of life and the bizarre practice of medicine in the United States.

    So very glad to have found this book.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 12-04-14
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 12-04-14 Member Since 2008

    Newly retired, I am a reading fiend! I like many types of books, both fiction and non-fiction, with the exception of romance and fantasy

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    "A medical doctor bares his soul!"

    I imagine this audiobook is as close as one can get to a peek into a doctor's world. Dr. Brendan Reilly has written an intensely personal and honest book. This is no light-hearted or fluffy read. It covers serious issues that are difficult to talk or even think about.

    A large part of Reilly's story involves a personal case of his in which he questions if his oversights played a role in the patient's death. You can clearly see how he agonizes over the details of the case and what he might have done differently. I find it very brave of him to admit possible errors in treating this elderly couple who were more to him than just his patients. I felt that perhaps writing of their story was somewhat therapeutic for Dr. Reilly.

    The book covers many other topics that are relevant, hot issues in modern medicine. Such issues include but are not limited to end of life decision-making, unnecessary waste of hospital resources, and the impersonality of current medical care. He discusses other difficult and interesting cases whose outcomes caused him concern and worry.

    Add to this fascinating and moving book a narrator you won't soon forget and this becomes a must read. It is hard to imagine that narrator Rob Shapiro is not the actual author of the book. He becomes Dr. Reilly and gives an amazing performance.

    I don't think my review even does this book justice. If any of what I have written spikes any interest for you, I highly recommend you get this audiobook. I believe I can safely say, "You won't be sorry!"

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim 09-28-14
    Tim 09-28-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Masterful delivery of a heartfelt, insightful work"
    What about Rob Shapiro’s performance did you like?

    Rob Shapiro's performance did not seem like a performance; it seemed like I was in the room with Dr. Reilly. Spot on.


    Any additional comments?

    The landscape of medicine will continue to change dramatically over the coming decade, but there are some things we would do well to retain. Foreseeing these changes, Dr. Reilly has distilled the most salient lessons from his many years of experience. These he conveys mostly through stories, pausing where necessary to expound on some important point. As a physician in training -and as a young man with many years ahead- I am grateful that he has taken me aside to tell me a few things.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni Caputo 08-03-14
    Toni Caputo 08-03-14 Member Since 2009
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    "The Real Deal"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book sets out to explain how clinicians (physicians) think when assessing a patient. How they come to conclusions and the joy or angst re: outcome. I'm a retired RN and I identified w/ these trials. I would recommend this anyone who can handle the truth. Physicians, Nurses etc are people subject to error and also amazing hard won ability to critical thinking, problem solving and to guiding a patient in the direction of improving health.
    The book is written in a novel format not as a didactic; and the author is certainly not a pedant.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes it held my attention throughout. If I had the time I would have listened in one sitting easily.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Casey 01-05-15
    Casey 01-05-15

    Hi! I'm Casey Keller, semi-retired TV writer, avid cyclist, husband and father. I'm also a guy who devours audio books.

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    "I couldn't stop listening"

    Brendan Reilly, M.D. is a man with a lot to say, all of it fascinating, insightful and beautifully said.
    Using story after story from his own experiences as a physician in hospital and private practice, Reilly laments the depersonalization of modern American medicine as it struggles to become more cost efficient and profitable.
    Reilly calls himself a dinosaur because he still believes people should have their own doctors, someone who knows them, their health objectives and their end of life choices. He criticizes the way existing systems let patients' records fall through the cracks, And in doing this, he is harder on himself than anyone else.
    But don't expect dry prose or clinical jargon. Dr. Reilly is a terrific story teller. He's gifted with a lovely way with words, a feel for dialog and a great love for his profession.
    Download this book and I promise you won't be disappointed.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amanda Portland 09-04-14
    Amanda Portland 09-04-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Anyone who needs good health care should read this"
    If you could sum up One Doctor in three words, what would they be?

    Eye opening!


    Which character – as performed by Rob Shapiro – was your favorite?

    The narrator makes you fall in love with Dr. Brendan and desire a dr like him in your own life.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm a firefighter so the issues dealt with in this book are not as hard for me as they may be for someone more sensitive. This book is honest about illness, dying, and death.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret San Francisco, CA USA 06-26-15
    Margaret San Francisco, CA USA 06-26-15 Member Since 2008
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    "I can't shut up about this book."

    Dr. Reily has followed the most famous rule of writing: show, don't tell. He uses examples from his long career to illustrate the way that medicine has changed, how it is broken and what might or might not be done to fix it. I'll be buying several copies to give at the holidays. I really consider this a must read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    bonitapita 03-19-15
    bonitapita 03-19-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Excellent"

    I enjoyed this audiobook greatly. I loved hearing the stories about the different patients. There were times I was so wrapped in their stories that I got annoyed when the author swerved off into a new background story; but I soon learned that his sidebars only made the story better.

    The narrator was excellent and I would (and have) recommended this book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tommy B. McDonell, Ph.D. Pinehurst, NC 02-28-15
    Tommy B. McDonell, Ph.D. Pinehurst, NC 02-28-15 Member Since 2014

    Tommy is an artist living and working in Pinehurst, NC

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    "Such an important story"

    I rarely listen to books but I got this when I joined Audible. I love books about medicine, doctors, etc.

    This book is excellent and weaves together family, medicine, the history of medicine and the problems we have today and will have.

    I recommend it on audio. I think otherwise you may miss important parts.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    smarmer Los Angeles, CA USA 11-02-14
    smarmer Los Angeles, CA USA 11-02-14 Member Since 2011

    smarmer

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    "Superb examination of doctoring"
    Any additional comments?

    This is an amazing book. I teach third year medical students about similar topics and will be using this as mandatory reading next year.

    Dr. Reilly, using his own experiences as the template, presents a brilliantly written memoir that reveals his failures and successes as a "country doctor," a teacher at a major medical center, and a philosopher of medicine. He expertly weaves long digressions about the strengths and weaknesses of the medical system into clinical vignettes that are fascinating to physicians and compelling to anyone interested in the humanity of medical care.

    Adding to the wonder of this book is the spectacular reading by Rob Shapiro. He adds such understanding in his narration, through perfectly timed pauses and well executed use of appropriate accents and tones of voice to depict a variety of patients, that it seems to the listener that it is Dr. Reilly himself who is speaking.

    Audible has a variety of readers, most of whom are very good, a few of whom are not, and a very small number of whom are outstanding. Rob Shapiro is one of the very best.

    If you are a physician, nurse, or anyone else in a health care profession, this book is an absolute must listen. And if you have ever been a patient or have a friend or relative who has been a patient, you will find this book rewarding and illuminating.

    I don't agree with one hundred percent of his recommendations about improving the health care system, but every issue he raises is worthy and needs to be addressed. This is simply a marvelous book exceptionally well written. This book, based on fact, has the grace of a finely crafted novel.

    I give it the highest possible recommendation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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