Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Doctor's Journey by Dr. Frederic A. Mendelsohn

A Doctor's Journey: A Collection of MemoirsA Doctor's Journey: A Collection of Memoirs by Frederic A. Mendelsohn M.D.


The tragic. The comic. The inspirational. Poignant tales that show what forms the fabric of today's physicians.
Practicing neurologist Frederic A. Mendelsohn takes you on an insider's journey through the sometimes startling landscape of American medicine today. Inspired by his own encounters during thirty-five years of clinical practice, Mendelsohn's stories range from the tragic to the droll, but each speaks in some way to the incredible strength of the human spirit. Here's a taste of the remarkable stories in A Doctor's Journey: "Searching for Salvation" - A teenage boy is seriously injured in a boating accident, but the effects of his accident are even greater on the boy who injured him. "Casanova Complex" - A gifted surgeon who looks like Tom Cruise - "if Tom Cruise were on steroids" - gets an unexpected fifteen minutes of fame while romping with a hospital nurse. "Wally the Whale" - A tale about several epileptic patients, but mostly about Wally, an unforgettable character who tries to murder the good doctor. "Angela's Angel" - A young woman, critically injured in a motor vehicle accident, makes a miraculous recovery, but the infant daughter of her angelic sister - who has been part of that recovery -- suffers a heartbreaking medical tragedy of her own. "Mambo Mendez" - Part confessional, part memoir, part introduction to the author's musical heritage, this story shows the struggle of blending family life with the rigors of a medical practice. Mendelsohn also explores the notion that a strong background in Debussy, Ravel and Satie may do as much to prompt the mental creativity and flexibility essential to successful doctoring as does a comprehensive training in phrenic nerves and conversion disorders.


Dr. Frederic Mendelsohn grew up in a musical household, so it seemed through the natural order of things he would build his life around music, like his father.  After earning an undergraduate music scholarship, he made a decision what would change his life forever- he decided to go to medical school.

It has been a very long time since a book moved me the way A Doctor's Journey did.  I can't say if my heart connected with the stories because I knew they were based on actual experiences or simply because they were so well written, perhaps a little of both.  Every chapter is different.  From the debauchery in the Casanova Complex to the painful anger of Wally the Whale, each story represents an intricately woven canvas - a day in the life of a musician turned neurologist.

Dr. Mendelsohn is a jack of all trades - master of many.  Not only is he musically inclined, but he is also a gifted painter, a practicing neurologist, and a very talented writer.  A Doctor's Journey is not just a memoir you should read, but one you should own. 
While each story has been fictionalized for obvious reasons, the truth is evident.  

So often we forget that physicians are real people, with real lives, who have real experiences, this book humanizes the medical profession not only through the eyes of a doctor but through the hearts of the patients and their families too.

I give this book:

A Doctor's Journey can be purchased wherever books are sold, available in paperback, hardback, and ebook.

Make sure to check back in tomorrow for a treat!  Dr. Mendelsohn will be stopping by for an interview... you don't want to miss it!


Deborah Lawrenson said...

Good find and review! As a lover of Debussy, Ravel and Satie myself (as is the Composer Husband), I'm fascinated by the idea that this is music that promotes creativity...

Stacey Donaldson said...

@Deborah - it's a fascinating read, great nuggets of info too!

Kiwes said...

Wow, Stacey, this sounds like a book I'd like to read. Very interesting post, as all your posts are, and I so enjoy hanging out on the deck. So inviting. I'm going to add some of those books to my shelf "to read" categories. There just aren't enough hours in the day, are there? ahahahaah, I want to read and I want to write, oh the problems of our lives! LOL Take care!

Stacey Donaldson said...

@ Kiwes - Thanks Kim - you're the best! I understand your plight, I want to read and write too. Sometimes there just isn't enough time in the day for both :-(

MuMuGB said...

This sounds like a great book! I love Mendelsohn's music, I didn't know that the son was a neurologist. This shows that maybe lots of paths lead to a better understanding of the human soul!

Stacey Donaldson said...

@MuMuGB - You're right there are certainly many road to travel on this journey through life!

Miss Good on Paper said...

I'm going to have to add this book to my summer reading list! I'll be back to see the interview. Thanks for sharing. -Miss GOP

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