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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

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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.

128 of 131 people found this review helpful

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  • Margaret
  • San Francisco, CA USA
  • 06-26-15

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.

77 of 80 people found this review helpful

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  • Kathy
  • Davis, CA, United States
  • 12-04-14

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!"

57 of 60 people found this review helpful

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  • Jean
  • Santa Cruz, CA, United States
  • 03-03-16

A Gripping Memoir

This book was published in 2013 but I am just getting around to reading it. Brendan Reilly, M.D. is an internist at a major academic medical center in Manhattan. He says he began his career as a primary care physician in a small town in New England. He apparently even made house calls.

Reilly complains that the vocation of being a physician and comforting patients has been devalued to a business culture and health care to a commodity. Reilly takes the reader along to work with him as he examines, diagnoses and treats patients (consumers). All the while, the author tosses in his opinions on the state of healthcare today. Reilly also takes the reader home with him and we watch him deal with his own parents. His father, also a physician, has bladder cancer and his mother is suffering from dementia.

The book is easy to read and provides the reader, with a better understand of the role and life of the physician and the state of health care in the United States today. Rob Shapiro does an excellent job narrating the book.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

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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!

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

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  • Maryam
  • MERRITT ISLAND, FL, United States
  • 07-02-15

Incredibly Engrossing

Entertaining, informative, even suspenseful in it's way. The author does an excellent job of weaving past and present, personal and professional, and the voice of the narrator is perfect.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding!

This is simply one of the best books I've listened to in a long time. The narrative is well written and genuine. Dr. Reilly doesn't hesitate to reveal true emotion or turn criticism toward himself when he feels he deserves it. The patient stories overlap in such way that the listener begins to get a feel for how complex and demanding a caring physician's life must be. One of the best autobiographical medical books I've come across, and the narrator is extraordinarily good.

18 of 20 people found this review helpful

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This really is how it is to be a doctor.

As a practicing internal medicine doctor for over 20 years, I can tell you that this book really is accurate. Dr Reilly expertly explains the joys and struggles of being a primary care doctor. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to know how doctors think.

17 of 19 people found this review helpful

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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.

17 of 20 people found this review helpful

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Important read for everyone

This book reveals many important truths that all Americans need to hear! I'm very grateful to the other reviewers who brought it to my attention. Narrator perfect, despite a rate of speech that was possibly a tiny bit slower than average. I learned a ton that was surprising--like why our current CPR-for-everyone craze is misguided and does more harm than good; what's become of our health care "system"; why so many of us lack that essential ONE DOCTOR who knows us, our health conditions, our families, and our wishes. I won't forget this book, and am already recommending it to friends.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful