In his exceptionally thought-provoking and moving memoir, neurosurgeon Joseph D. Stern explores how personal loss influences the way physicians relate to patients and their families.
How does a doctor who deals with the death of patients on a regular basis confront his own loss when his beloved family member is living out her last days?
Despite a career as a neurosurgeon, Joseph Stern learned more about the nature of illness and death after his younger sister Victoria developed leukemia than his formal medical training ever taught him. Her death broke down the self-protective barriers he had built to perform his job and led to a profound shift in his approach to medicine.
During the year of her illness, Dr. Stern developed a greater awareness of the needs of patients and their families; of the burdens they carry; of the importance of connection, communication, and gratitude; and of what it means to ask the right questions. Grief Connects Us intimately explores the impact of personal loss on physicians and the ways in which they integrate it into their professional lives, providing a blueprint for change that places compassion and empathy at the center of the practice of medicine