Surviving Arrogance: How a Patient Saved the Soul of a Surgeon

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This memoir shows how an arrogant surgeon, whose worldview was entirely dependent upon scientific dogma, was startled into a new way of thinking, a new way of understanding himself, his patients, and the world, and how he became grateful, more human, more compassionate and more creative, enhancing his ability to heal patients with potentially lethal cancers and to use his creative research thoughts to introduce new ideas into his profession. The key to his transformation was provided by a young woman, dying of a rare abdominal tumor, but who miraculously survived after aggressive Western-style treatment. She believed the most important part of her treatment and recovery was the mindset she developed from alternative non-medical treatments, and he, initially skeptical of her beliefs, discovered truths that his medical training had not taught him.

The author hopes that readers will see how modern medicine can and should incorporate empathy from doctors for their patients and a belief that they are not superior, despite their more advanced education.

About the Author

S. David Nathanson is an award-winning academic surgical oncologist who loves to heal patients, and to teach medical students and residents in surgical training, and who practices at the world-renowned Henry Ford Health System in Michigan. He is the author of over two hundred research articles, eight book chapters, one book, and loves to tell stories. When not operating he loves taking photographs, often landscapes or portraits, many of which are printed and framed and hung in his home and in the Breast Care Center he runs at West Bloomfield Hospital, and in the surgery department at Henry Ford Hospital. He reads fiction and non-fiction in his spare time, concentrating on theological, philosophical, spiritual and historical themes. He loves music, particularly of the Baroque era. He loves arthouse movies and well-constructed streaming television series. His research in sentinel node biopsy is quoted world-wide and he is actively involved in translational research, focusing mainly on breast cancer and melanoma.