This book describes the life and times of a physician-scientist over the last half-century. Part One is about the author's struggle with colon cancer and the lessons he learnt from the experience; Part Two is about his life growing up, the pretzel bakery, his family, being educated at Bronx Science, Columbia College, Harvard Medical School, and his medical training at the Boston City Hospital and the NIH. Part Three, the major portion of the book, describes the author's experiences as a practicing physician and hematologist at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center over 40 years. It also presents his views on what it takes to be a good doctor and to practice good medicine. Part Four is about medicine today, the crisis in medical care and in obtaining affordable health insurance in the United States, and potential solutions to these problems. And finally, it also describes the author's views on how changes in America over the past few decades have transformed our society from that of the meritocracy as known in the early days to that of the present society dominated by financial considerations.
Contents:The Doctor as Patient:The Big CGetting BetterGrowing Up:In the BeginningCollege DaysDecisions, DecisionsBasic TrainingDoing Medicine:A Special CallingMaking DiagnosesColumbia-Presbyterian MedicineBecoming a HematologistHematology and OncologyDoing HematologySickle Cell DiseaseSpecial PeopleMedicine Today:The Practice of MedicineThe Business of MedicineSolutionsChanging TimesThe Last ChapterReadership: Educated people with no special medical or scientific training as well as those who do; people who read the New York Times, college and medical students, physicians, nurses, medical personnel as well as people who are just generally interested in medicine.