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Memory Lessons: Doctor's Story (09 Edition)by Winakur
Synopses & ReviewsPlease note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.
The story of becoming a doctor, and being a son. Jerald Winakur is a doctor who cares for, and about, the elderly. Dedicated and compassionate, he's a surrogate son to many. And yet, all his years of service helping patients and their families adjust to the challenges of aging did not prepare him for becoming father to his own father, who had become as needy as any child. In Memory Lessons--a tender and provocative book--Dr. Winakur writes about what it's like to be medical counselor to countless patients, while disclosing his personal heartbreak at watching his 86-year-old father descend into disability and dementia, his mother at his side. In both of these roles--highly skilled professional and loving son--he finds he is hard pressed to alter a course that devastates his dad and tears at his family. But he does what he can. A doctor who does his best to listen carefully to each patient in turn, who attempts to confront every problem with, as he says, "a reasonable fund of knowledge, a modicum of common sense, and a large dose of honesty," Dr. Winakur knows that there is much we can do by loving and listening. We all search for answers; we all want to do the right thing for our parents, but few of us know what that right thing is. Faced with caring for a growing sea of elders, Dr. Winakur reflects on his thirty years in the medical profession to consider the very personal and immediate questions asked by families every day: What are we going to do with Dad? Who will care for him--and how? These are urgent questions, and they're faced head-on in Memory Lessons with unflinching honesty, hope, and, above all, love.
"As a doctor of the 'oldest old,' those patients over 85, San Antonio, Tex., geriatric physician Winakur cares for the 'fastest growing demographic segment of our society.' He also had to usher his own aged father through the last painful, debilitating years of his life, when he slipped into dementia and became a stranger to himself and his family. In this affecting, thoughtfully composed memoir, Winakur remembers his father as he fully was, a gifted artist whose Depression-era mother would not allow him to go to art school. He was consigned to run the family's pawnshop in Baltimore until the race riots of 1968 destroyed the store and his livelihood. While the author describes his father as someone who seemed to get little enjoyment late in life, it was his father who instilled in his son a love of bird watching. As the author and his father achieve toward the end an intimate, fragile truce, Winakur recalls the long medical journey that brought him to devote himself to the aged, from medical school, where specialization was the rule, to his thriving practice as a local doctor. He touches on many pressing issues within the profession, such as the havoc wrought by managed care, the debate over 'quality care' of the elderly, and whether prolonging life at any cost is wise. Probing and intelligent, Winakur's work challenges readers to think hard and deeply about the choices they make in the care of their elders." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
Jerry Winakur has practiced internal and geriatric medicine in San Antonio, Texas, for over thirty years. An Associate Faculty Member of Medical Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Health Science Center, he also lectures in Humanities at the University of Texas and Trinity University in San Antonia. He lives with his wife, the poet Lee Robinson, in Comfort, Texas.
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