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Confessions of a Surgeon: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated...Life Behind the O.R. Doorsby Paul A. Ruggieri
Synopses & Reviews
Cardiac surgeon John A. Elefteriades, one of Mens Health magazines ten best doctors in America, shares moving patient stories and lessons about the human heart.
The human heart is a paradox, incredibly strong yet surprisingly fragile. And while stories that reveal its symbolic characteristics abound, there are far fewer that laud its physical capabilities, which are perhaps even more profound.
Dr. Elefteriades, one of the most respected cardiac surgeons in America, has treated more than 10,000 patients in his distinguished career. Now, for the first time, he shares fascinating stories of his most memorable patients and cases—patients who have challenged him technically and moved him emotionally, patients who have enriched his life and expanded his horizons while he cared for their hearts. By detailing heart conditions and cardiac reparative procedures with specific yet accessible medical narratives, Dr. Elefteriades encapsulates the beauty, complexity, and majesty of the human heart.
But there is far more to this organ—and these stories—than a collection of veins, arteries, and valves. These are stories of courage, miracles, and the bravery of patients (some famous and others not) and their families when facing nearly insurmountable challenges, offering a thought-provoking, informative, and at times heart-wrenching study of the resilience of both the human body and spirit.
Book News Annotation:
Ruggieri, a general/laparoscopic surgeon and chief of surgery at a community hospital, details the realities and challenges of being a surgeon. He traces his experiences as a medical student, surgical intern, and resident; specific patients and cases; how surgeons deal with the emotional consequences of life-and-death decisions, surgical complications, lawsuits, and losing a patient; how patients view them as Godlike and how surgeons are fallible; the incompetent surgeons who continue to work in the profession; the unpredictability of the job; how he has learned from patients; and other aspects. Annotation ©2012 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
As an active surgeon and former department chairman, Dr. Paul A. Ruggieri has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of his profession. In Confessions of a Surgeon, he pushes open the doors of the O.R. and reveals the inscrutable place where lives are improved, saved, and sometimes lost. He shares the successes, failures, remarkable advances, and camaraderie that make it exciting. He uncovers the truth about the abusive, exhaustive training and the arduous devotion of his old-school education. He explores the twenty-four-hour challenges that come from patients and their loved ones; the ethics of saving the lives of repugnant criminals; the hot-button issues of healthcare, lawsuits, and reimbursements; and the true cost of running a private practice. And he explains the influence of the "white coat code of silence" and why patients may never know what really transpires during surgery.
Ultimately, Dr. Ruggieri lays bare an occupation that to most is as mysterious and unfamiliar as it is misunderstood. His account is passionate, illuminating, and often shocking-an eye-opening, never- before-seen look at real life, and death, in the O.R.
About the Author
Paul A. Ruggieri, M.D., is a practicing board-certified general/laparoscopic surgeon who has been operating for over 20 years. Dr. Ruggieri performed his surgical training at the world-renowned Washington University School of Medicine, Barnes Hospital, in St. Louis. He then spent three years as an active duty general surgeon in the U.S. Army. Currently, he is former chief of the department of surgery at a large community hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts, the very hospital he helped build as an ironworker before attending medical school nearly 30 years ago. Dr. Ruggieri has written several books for patients. He lives in Rhode Island with his wife and three stepsons. Visit his website at www.paulruggieri.com.
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