We often hear of medical miracles, but are they really miracles at all? Or was there perchance a special doctor in charge who took more than a cursory look, someone who looked further than the obvious to find the root of the situation?
In True Medical Detective Stories by Clifton K. Meador, M.D., the author takes us into the examination rooms and gives us case by case notes of some of the most interesting of true-life medical cases. Not only does he give us the play by play of the studies and bedside looks, but he does it in such a way as to make this truly a page turning set of mysteries.
He also pays homage to Berton Roueche, staff writer at the New Yorker from 1944-1994, the man who popularized medical detective stories. The interesting thing about these true life stories is that the doctor was the one who took the steps to dig deeper, often planting the bug of an idea with the patient or their family that then bore fruit, taking him in a direction that was necessary to find the cure.
It is important to note that without this communication from both sides many of these cases could well have ended in tragedy.
Dr. Meador takes the cases and takes us into the sometimes mysterious causes of illness. Doctors often have to become detectives in order to find the root of the issue, and it is these cases that strike the pose of mystery, for without this investigation there would have been no story. Some death often seems without cause, which makes this work so fascinating.
If you enjoy true mystery as well as medical miracles you will find this to be a work that is difficult to put down. Dr. Meador takes us on a journey into the detective work of those dedicated professionals who wanted a more concise understanding of the cause of their patient’s maladies, and gives us a depth of understanding into the necessity of thorough communication between the doctor and his patients.
A book group or reading club would find this a great work and challenge to create both questions and answers.