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One Doctor

I just finished reading One Doctor: Close Calls, Cold Cases, and the Mysteries of Medicine by Brendan Reilly, M.D. I realize a book by a doctor sounds boring, but it was actually quite a page turner! It was very easy to read and I found it hard to put it down.

Dr. Reilly writes in the first person, describing his extensive experience as a "generalist" primary care physician, both decades ago and today. Each story is intensely personal, describing specific patients and their stories, including those of his own parents. These stories illustrate how we think about health and treatment, and how healthcare has changed over the years. Not all for the better.

This book also made me consider more deeply how I think about disease treatment and death. Doctors have an unusual perspective on death that seems strange at first: the fact that we all will die. The fact that we have choices to make about how we die. That there may be worse things than dying, and that it's important to know what that means for yourself.

These ideas are so matter-of-factly obvious to a doctor, but are things that many people never think about. But it's relevant to all of us, especially since we will increasingly face these issues at the end of our lives.

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The views expressed on this site are mine personally, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.