Fresh from medical school, Robert Klitzman began his residency in psychiatry with excitement and a sense of mission. But he was not prepared for what he found inside the city psychiatric center where he was to spend three grueling years. In truth, as Dr. Klitzman's absorbing account of his apprenticeship reveals, he never ceased to be surprised--by his patients, by the senior psychiatrists' conflicting advice on how to help them, and by the unpredictable results of the therapies, both psychoanalytic and biologic, that he and his fellow residents practiced. Nights in the emergency room, professional controversy, the minefield of hospital politics, the stress of his own therapy--everything is here, in a passionate and illuminating analysis of a doctor's struggle against tremendous odds to banish his patients' demons.
Kuru, like Mad Cow disease, is caused by a rare, infectious crystal protein that invades and colonizes human cells, destroying the nervous system of its victims. There is no known cure. It flourished in one of the remotest places on earth, Papua New Guinea, among the Fore, a people living in the Stone Age, who until recently practiced ritual cannibalism, consuming the brains of their forebears during funerary feasts. Robert Klitzman helped establish the links between these rituals and kuru. What he discovered has provided keys to understanding the mysterious Mad Cow Disease, which may become the world's next major epidemic. Robert Klitzman was 21 years old when he was invited by the Nobel prize-winning scientist Dr. Carleton Gajdusek, then at the National Institutes of Health, to conduct original research on kuru. Seizing the chance to travel to the other end of the world, Klitzman embarked on an adventure that would change his life.
The Trembling Montain Account Of Kuru, Cannibals, And Mad Cow Disease
"A frank and compassionate account of his intern year in an unnamed hospital, told in prose as clean and precise and gleaming with promise as a surgeon's scalpel. Klitzman emphasizes the human side of the hospital: the suffering and fragile mortality of patients; the frightening, funny, wearying routines of doctors and nurses.... What binds these tales is [his] fresh and honest voice, at times awestruck or shocked but never jaded... Klitzman's memoir stands out for its fine writing, unblinking internal probing, external observation, and humaneness." --Kirkus Review (Starred)"Klitzman joins the ranks of young doctors whose emotionally charged first year of internship impels them to record their initial experiences of suffering, healing and death. Each of his medical rotations is represented by short episodes, usually centered around a single patient. Indeed, what distinguishes this account from others of its kind is not only literary promise, but the author's interest in patients as human beings with distinct personalities whose identities and wishes he respects." --Publishers Weekly"There are extraordinary moments...[The book] describe[s] the tension between the endless stress and the fantastic learning curve of his 'Year-long Night'". --Washington Post"At some point in each of our lives, it's likely we'll find ourselves a hospital patient. Reading [this book] will go a long way in preparation for that event." --Cleveland Plain Dealer
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