Doctors Afield

Doctors Afield

Yale University Press

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"Our intent was to provide a book that would let the everyday practitioner understand that he or she had stories to tell, roads to walk, pictures to paint, tunes to play―and that there is life outside, even after, medicine."―from the preface

This book examines the lives of twenty-seven physicians―twenty-one men and six women―who have combined the aim to heal with other pursuits such as art, writing, music, or politics. Their fascinating testimonies illustrate the personal gratification and inspiration that can be gained from integrating medicine with another passionately engaging activity.

The book includes a wide array of individuals and interests, from the toymaker A. C. Gilbert and the writer Gertrude Stein to a wine grower, an astronaut, a coin collector, a cabaret singer, and a minister. Most of the stories are told by the principals themselves; the lives of the four deceased subjects are related by others. Although a few physicians tell of giving up medical practice for a new field of endeavor, most attest that the partnership between medicine and another interest has invigorated them and given them new energy to care for and relate to patients.


Howard M. Spiro, M.D., professor of medicine at Yale University School of Medicine, and Mary G. McCrea Curnen, M.D., D.P.H., clinical professor of epidemiology and pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, are director and associate director, respectively, of the Program for Humanities in Medicine. 

Deborah St. James is manager of editorial services, pharmaceutical division, Bayer Corporation.

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