Fascinomas - fascinating medical mysteries. A paralyzed teen recovers overnight. A woman complains her breast implants speak. A man and his dog become gravely ill at the exact same time. These strange, real-life cases and many more can be found in author and physician Clifton K. Meador's newest collection, Fascinomas. Combining the word fascinating with the term for a tumor or growth, fascinoma is medical slang for an unusually interesting medical case. These are the extraordinary stories medical professionals recall forever and pass from one colleague to another in hospital lounges and hallways. Every medical professional has at least one fascinoma to tell, and in this collection of bizarre-but-true stories, Meador retells some of the most memorable. In the vein of Berton Roueche, the famed medical writer for The New Yorker, the author of True Medical Detective Stories is back with an all-new book of complex cases, where medical professionals must often race against the clock to find clues in the most unusual places. Fascinomas is an entertaining and informative collection for physicians, nurses, medical students, and those who simply can't get enough of bizarre clinical cases. Written from the point of view of an experienced doctor, the stories are crafted in an engaging style that can be enjoyed by medical professionals and laypeople alike. More than just interesting tales, however, these real-life mysteries serve as great examples of the need for doctors to listen closely to and ask the right questions of their patients, even in the computer age, when so much information is at their fingertips. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction, and you never know where a crucial piece of evidence will be found by one of the detectives of the medical world.
©2013 Clifton K. Meador (P)2015 Clifton K. Meador
I work in health care so I read a lot of medical type books. I am giving this book low rating because only a few of the stories are actually interesting. None of them are presented as a "fascinoma", and many of them are not even unusual. The vast majority of presentations are from the early to mid 1900s. A few are downright lame--they don't even have a conclusion, just presenting some stupid things people do and no answer to why they did it. Most of the stories are pretty mediocre (hypoglycemia, for example) some are repeated only under a different patient name.
The performance is painful to listen to, like a cross between the Dick and Jane stories and a 1940s commercial. Kiser's pronunciations are unforgivably inaccurate and annoying.
The only redeeming quality of this book is that, as stated earlier, some of the stories are actually interesting and offer good insight into diagnosing a difficult case.
Here is another collection of fascinating medical mysteries. Written in the same vein as his other book, True Medical Detective Mysteries, Meador delivers an entertaining array of the bizarre, little known, and unusual medical cases. I enjoyed this book just as much as his previous collection.
This collection has a greater number of self-inflicted illnesses and conditions than the first book did. I found these to be especially interesting. Sometimes they were seeking attention, sometimes they were ingesting something they did not know was the cause of their illness. There was once a time, not too long ago, when it was unknown acetaminophen could damage the liver if ingested in a large enough dose. Then there was the blue cheese case. The other side of the coin is well demonstrated by a case with a young athlete – the first three doctors assumed he was a drug seeker. Unfortunately, he was suffering from a real medical issue and only his life-long doctor took him seriously.
The stories are told as if you have sat down to have a whiskey and chat with Meador. I can just picture the author and a colleague telling old war stories in a cozy library. While I enjoy big words and have a biology degree, I still appreciate that this book is written so that it is easily accessible to non-medical people.
Narration: James Kiser did another great job on this book. He delivers the cases in a clear, yet conversational, voice. He has no trouble with the occasional medical jargon.
Lots of very short stories. Some were quite interesting but swept on to the next story too soon.
The narration and audio quality were not that great, noticeably lower than most other audio books but tolerable.
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