Reviews Book

The Optimist: Meditations on Medicine. Collected Essays 1994-2003

BMJ 2005; 330 doi: (Published 17 March 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;330:678
  1. Kevin Barraclough, general practitioner (
  1. Painswick Gloucestershire

This collection is from an eminent academic gastroenterologist who has been at Yale for almost half a century. He expresses concerns that, I suspect, many of us feel. He worries that technology is eroding the role of the physician as healer. He is wary of the reductionist view, where our passions are seen as “simple perturbations of neural function, and Prozac takes away the sins of the world.” He has an eye for an aphorism and comes out with some good lines.

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Howard M Spiro Science U+0026: Medicine, $32 plus postage, …

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