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Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab

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Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A doctor of uncommon curiosity and compassion confronts cases that challenge and deepen her practice

In Falling Into the Fire, psychiatrist and author of Body of Work Christine Montross reveals the complexities of navigating the mind’s treacherous terrain. Montross’s journey spans the course of her residency and her early years as an attending physician, and is shaped by a set of gripping patient encounters. Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. She discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling Into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment.

The majority of the patients we meet in Falling Into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the hospital incite the frustration of the staff, leading Montross to examine how emotion can interfere with proper care. A recent college graduate, dressed in a tunic and declaring that love  emanates from everything around him, is brought to the ER by his concerned girlfriend. Is it ecstasy or psychosis? What legal ability do doctors have to hospitalize—and sometimes medicate—a patient against his will? A new mother is admitted with incessant visions of harming her child. Is she psychotic and a danger or does she suffer from obsessive thoughts? Her course of treatment—and her child’s future—depends upon whether she receives the correct diagnosis.

Throughout, Montross confronts the larger question of psychiatry: What is to be done when a patient’s experiences cannot be accounted for, or helped, by what contemporary medicine knows about the brain? What then? When all else fails, Montross finds, what remains is the capacity to abide, to sit with the desperate in their darkest moments. At once rigorous and meditative, Falling Into the Fire is an intimate portrait of psychiatry, allowing the reader to witness the humanity of the practice and the enduring mysteries of the mind.

Synopsis:

A doctor of uncommon curiosity and compassion confronts cases that challenge and deepen her practice

In Falling Into the Fire, psychiatrist and author of Body of Work Christine Montross reveals the complexities of navigating the mind’s treacherous terrain. Montross’s journey spans the course of her residency and her early years as an attending physician, and is shaped by a set of gripping patient encounters. Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. She discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling Into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment.

The majority of the patients we meet in Falling Into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the hospital incite the frustration of the staff, leading Montross to examine how emotion can interfere with proper care. A recent college graduate, dressed in a tunic and declaring that love  emanates from everything around him, is brought to the ER by his concerned girlfriend. Is it ecstasy or psychosis? What legal ability do doctors have to hospitalize—and sometimes medicate—a patient against his will? A new mother is admitted with incessant visions of harming her child. Is she psychotic and a danger or does she suffer from obsessive thoughts? Her course of treatment—and her child’s future—depends upon whether she receives the correct diagnosis.

Throughout, Montross confronts the larger question of psychiatry: What is to be done when a patient’s experiences cannot be accounted for, or helped, by what contemporary medicine knows about the brain? What then? When all else fails, Montross finds, what remains is the capacity to abide, to sit with the desperate in their darkest moments. At once rigorous and meditative, Falling Into the Fire is an intimate portrait of psychiatry, allowing the reader to witness the humanity of the practice and the enduring mysteries of the mind.

Synopsis:

A "gleaming, humane" (The New York Times Book Review) memoir of the relationship between a cadaver named Eve and a first-year medical student

Medical student Christine Montross felt nervous standing outside the anatomy lab on her first day of class. Entering a room with stainless-steel tables topped by corpses in body bags was initially unnerving. But once Montross met her cadaver, she found herself intrigued by the person the woman once was and fascinated by the strange, unsettling beauty of the human form. They called her Eve. The story of Montross and Eve is a tender and surprising examination of the mysteries of the human body, and a remarkable look at our relationship with both the living and the dead.

 

About the Author

CHRISTINE MONTROSS is a resident of psychiatry at Brown University. She received her MFA in poetry from the University of Michigan.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780143113669
Author:
Montross, Christine
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
Medical - General
Subject:
Education & Training
Subject:
Personal Memoirs
Subject:
Human Anatomy
Subject:
Women medical students
Subject:
Biography/Medical
Subject:
Medical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w illustrations throughout
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Medical
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Essays
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Biographies
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Professional Medical Reference

Body of Work: Meditations on Mortality from the Human Anatomy Lab Used Trade Paper
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Product details 320 pages Penguin Books - English 9780143113669 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A doctor of uncommon curiosity and compassion confronts cases that challenge and deepen her practice

In Falling Into the Fire, psychiatrist and author of Body of Work Christine Montross reveals the complexities of navigating the mind’s treacherous terrain. Montross’s journey spans the course of her residency and her early years as an attending physician, and is shaped by a set of gripping patient encounters. Each case study presents its own line of inquiry, leading Montross to seek relevant psychiatric knowledge from diverse sources. She discovers lessons in medieval dancing plagues, in leading forensic and neurological research, and in moments from her own life. Beautifully written, deeply felt, Falling Into the Fire brings us inside the doctor’s mind, illuminating the grave human costs of mental illness as well as the challenges of diagnosis and treatment.

The majority of the patients we meet in Falling Into the Fire are seen in the locked inpatient wards of a psychiatric hospital; all are in moments of profound crisis. We meet a young woman who habitually commits self-injury, having ingested light bulbs, a box of nails, and a steak knife, among other objects. Her repeated visits to the hospital incite the frustration of the staff, leading Montross to examine how emotion can interfere with proper care. A recent college graduate, dressed in a tunic and declaring that love  emanates from everything around him, is brought to the ER by his concerned girlfriend. Is it ecstasy or psychosis? What legal ability do doctors have to hospitalize—and sometimes medicate—a patient against his will? A new mother is admitted with incessant visions of harming her child. Is she psychotic and a danger or does she suffer from obsessive thoughts? Her course of treatment—and her child’s future—depends upon whether she receives the correct diagnosis.

Throughout, Montross confronts the larger question of psychiatry: What is to be done when a patient’s experiences cannot be accounted for, or helped, by what contemporary medicine knows about the brain? What then? When all else fails, Montross finds, what remains is the capacity to abide, to sit with the desperate in their darkest moments. At once rigorous and meditative, Falling Into the Fire is an intimate portrait of psychiatry, allowing the reader to witness the humanity of the practice and the enduring mysteries of the mind.

"Synopsis" by ,
A "gleaming, humane" (The New York Times Book Review) memoir of the relationship between a cadaver named Eve and a first-year medical student

Medical student Christine Montross felt nervous standing outside the anatomy lab on her first day of class. Entering a room with stainless-steel tables topped by corpses in body bags was initially unnerving. But once Montross met her cadaver, she found herself intrigued by the person the woman once was and fascinated by the strange, unsettling beauty of the human form. They called her Eve. The story of Montross and Eve is a tender and surprising examination of the mysteries of the human body, and a remarkable look at our relationship with both the living and the dead.

 

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