Death of the Good Doctor -- Lessons from the Heart of the AIDS Epidemic Kate Scannell Author
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Doctor Kate Scannell abandoned her academic career in 1985 expecting to enter an ordinary medical practice in Northern California. Instead, the thirty-two-year-old physician found herself assigned to a county hospital AIDS ward where much of the medicine she has studied over many difficult years was rendered irrelevant.Working with AIDS patients, nearly all of whom are dying, Scannell discovers the inadequacy of the good doctor who battles illness to keep patients alive regardless of their suffering. By embracing her patients' unique needs and stories, Scannell reaches an expanded understanding of her patients and of herself as a physician.Death of the Good Doctor richly chronicles the intimacy of Scannell's relationships with her patients through whom the vast complexities of the AIDS epidemic are uniquely focused. It is through these beautiful, often difficult, and sometimes humorous portraits that the woman and the physician discover each other.FROM THE BACK COVERThis haunting memoir is an important addition to the canon of AIDS literature. Scannell writes beautifully and with an insight that escapes most physicians. —Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and Cutting for StoneKate Scannell is the rare doctor who has been transformed by her patients. In this irresistible, informative, and enormously moving book, she tells us not only her own story, but theirs. —Gloria SteinemSAMPLE REVIEWSA remarkable book, part history, part memoir, that reads with the grace and eloquence of good fiction. —Bay Area ReporterIn an enormously moving, thoughtful and compassionate memoir, she recounts how she discarded her traditional medical training and learned how to rely on her own sensibilities…The individuals that she met on the ward, she writes, shook me, stunned me, alarmed me, twisted me, righted me, tricked me, and amazed me. Their stories do the same for us, and some even make us laugh. —Robert Armstrong, Minneapolis Star-Tribune[O]ne of the most startling and beautifully written books I've ever read from a doctor. —Pat Holt, Northern California Independent Booksellers AssociationMost of the essays in this book transcend even the best of Oprah's T.V. Book Moments.—Lambda Book ReportThere has been much talk in this section of the magazine recently about the near uselessness of AIDS literature written by members of the medical establishment. … Death of the Good Doctor by Kate Scannell, M.D., is a delightful exception. … [It] is a surprisingly easy read; more like a short story collection with unifying threads of main characters and location. —Arts and UnderstandingThis is a rich collection of snapshots not only of people with AIDS but of the journey of their physician. Scannell's need to write the stories of her patients is also shadowed by her knowledge that, before she finished writing these stories, she herself had been diagnosed with cancer. —Felice Aull, Medical Humanities, New York UniversityHer storytelling style allows the reader to put a face on the epidemic and give meaning to the statistics, as they are introduced to several of Scannell's patients …—Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS CarePublication history  Originally published in paperback, 1999 (Cleis Press). Rights were reverted to author in 2010 and reissued in electronic form; back in print 2012 with photographs added in 2018.


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