Synopses & Reviews
Education about death and dying has been almost ignored in medical schools. Recently, however, it has become increasingly obvious that the preferences of dying patients are being ignored, leaving many patients to die lonely, scared, and in pain. There is a growing realization that physicians can help dying patients achieve a more peaceful death and increased recognition that good end-of-life care is not just the province of specialized hospice physicians or nurses. In A Physician's Guide to Coping with Death and Dying Jan Swanson and Alan Cooper, a physician and a clinical psychologist with many years of experience, offer insights to help medical students, residents, physicians, nurses, and others become more aware of the different stages in the dying process and learn how to communicate more effectively with patients and their families. They also discuss the ways physicians and other caregivers can learn to reduce their own stress levels and avoid the risk of burnout, allowing them to achieve balance in their lives and be more effective professionally. The authors use case examples and thought-provoking exercises to provide a personal learning experience. A Physician's Guide to Coping with Death and Dying includes an extensive bibliography and a unique web resource section with contacts to many organizations working with patients suffering from life-threatening illnesses.