My Imaginary Illness: A Journey into Uncertainty and Prejudice in Medical Diagnosis Hardcover – Oct 8 2010
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About the Author
Bonnie Blair O'Connor is Professor of Pediatrics (Clinical) and Associate Director, Pediatric Residency, at Hasbro Children's Hospital/Alpert Medical School at Brown University in Providence, R.I.
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Top Customer Reviews
A lesser person would have written from a point of bitterness. Atkins avoids this place. She describes her years of experience clearly, sharing her feelings without damning. She does so in a way that leaves readers space to form their own judgments, have their own reactions. She does not tell us how to feel: she opens the door for us to feel. She acknowledges that the system failed her in many ways but also acknowledges the people who helped her, the aspects of the same system that continue to keep her alive and functioning as a professional, a partner, a parent, an entire person.
Atkins' writing style is clear and avoids fancy jargon. She provides definitions and explanations the few times the medical terms are needed but keeps the language straightforward the rest of the time. While I recommend the book for medical professionals, anyone can read it, relate to it, enjoy it, and learn from it.
Medical professionals will certainly benefit from the read-- one can imagine this becoming required reading at med schools, as one of the clinical commentators suggests-- but so will anyone interested in the extent to which our thoughts are inseparable from the state of our physical beings. "My Imaginary Illness" is a powerful challenge to much of the received wisdom that defines how modern Westerners tend to think about themselves, and makes for an eye-opening, thought-provoking read.
I finished reading your book last night. One fell swoop. Thank you so much for writing it. I can't believe it is 2010 and the patient story has not otherwise been succinctly told. I have had a very similar experience in many ways, except that my mother was around, which just gave then an excuse to say I didn't want to walk to get revenge on her for being a neglectful parent. You know, either way they make it so you can't win. You are stuffed into their narrow paradigm created by preconceived notions of your life experience and there you most likely stay. All your truths are overlooked, your own experience negated so that the higher god of the medical establishment can be sufficiently pandered to.
We need to get every physician in Canada a copy of your book. I see how they fall into their traps and into hospital and ministry politics, but it is wrong and things need to change.
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