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Telltale Hearts

Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781541704206

Price: £25

ON SALE: 1st August 2024

Genre: Medicine / Clinical & Internal Medicine

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A doctor’s powerful meditation on what his patients taught him and what they can teach us about health, empathy and healing.

For over four decades, Dr. Dean-David Schillinger has been a witness to the evolution of public health in America. From his days as a young, bright eyed resident to the Chief of Internal Medicine at one of the country’s largest public hospitals, Schillinger has seen thousands of patients and observed how our healthcare system can both work for and against them. Yet, it wasn’t insurance or improved medical tests that mattered most; it was simply listening to his patients.

In Telltale Hearts, Schillinger takes readers into the exam rooms of a public hospital as he recounts his various experiences with patients and how listening to their stories, their backgrounds and more, revolutionized his own approach to medicine. In a hospital that serves mostly low income and marginalized populations, it was never just the injury or ailment that was the whole story but rather the social, political and racial circumstances that led patients to the hospital in the first place. A woman who refuses to take her pills actually cannot swallow them to begin with while another who seems to be skipping her insulin injections has a family member who is stealing them. A patient with Type 2 diabetes doesn’t just suffer from high blood sugar but has consistently lived in a food desert where sugary beverages and unhealthy food were the only options. With each story and each patient, Schillinger urges us to look at how listening to patients not only can lead to better care in a hospital, but a more empathetic approach to public health in general.

Written with compassion and introspection, Telltale Hearts is a moving portrait of modern medicine and an urgent call for change in how we, as a society, take care of our own.

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