In light of the escalating costs of healthcare in the U.S. and the on-going debate about appropriate health insurance reform, it's easy to forget about the human side of medicine and the importance of the doctor-patient relationship. In "Uncommon Wisdom," neurologists John Castaldo and Lawrence Levitt share what they have learned in their many years as doctors, not just from tests and labs, but from years of listening and learning from their patients. These 16 tales show doctors as human beings: flawed and full of doubt, wonder, and reverence about what it means to be alive. The stories remind us that the medical profession should be about treating people with the dignity they deserve and that medical miracles don't always involve medicine. These doctors find cures, solve mysteries, and glean many lessons from listening deeply to their patients.
JOHN E. CASTALDO, MD, is the chief of the division of neurology at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA.LAWRENCE P. LEVITT, MD, is professor of clinical medicine at Penn State College of Medicine and senior consultant in neurology emeritus at Lehigh Valley Hospital.