The Healer of Our Time is a big book about big American medicine at the dawn of the 21st century. Big medicine means big money, big research, big hopes, big cures, big egos, big charity, big media, and, most unsettling, big questions--questions like: Who's really sick? What treatment works? What defines a disease? Who do you trust? We see this world through the eyes of Alex Canden, a young doc with elite credentials, literary pretensions, doubts about his profession, and doubts about his own role as healer. His introspective trek from humdrum suburban ERs to the heights of the university-charity complex--a tale by turn Bonfire of the Therapies, The Immunity of Melancholy, Kvetch-22, and Remembrance of Cures Past--exposes America's medical zeitgeist, making us see how our culture fashions our ailments, how the media is our medicine, and how, all too often, the more cures change, the more we feel the same.
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