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The Boston Globe

Books

Book Review

‘One Doctor’ by Brendan Reilly

In doctor’s memoir, the patient comes first

What defines an excellent physician? Compassion, dedication, respect, professional competence, humility. Those traits would make a good start.

All of these qualities shine through the many stories that make up the bulk of Brendan Reilly’s “One Doctor.’’ This book is much more than merely a gripping memoir written by an expert storyteller who also happens to be one of the nation’s most respected leaders of academic medicine. Spanning a 40-year career, the deftly woven tapestry of anecdotes and scholarly analysis also presents a troubling picture of the ways in which the practice of medicine has changed, and not always for the better insofar as patient care is concerned.

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