Bedside: The Art of Medicine
By Michael A. LaCombe
This collection of stories, though fiction, is a rich depiction of Maine people–doctors, nurses, patients, and families; and their stories ring true in every sense. In this volume is the story of the Biddeford-Saco general practitioner who used a secret code with his office and local pharmacist to help indigent patients. A Jewish atheist tells an ‘innocent tale’ to a dying young girl. While fly-fishing, two old doctors drink fine wine from jelly glasses and consume dropped-eggs on hash while grousing about the state of education today. An old country doctor, at Death’s door, tells a young colleague a love story, and shows him how to live.
“Dr. LaCombe’s poignant and graceful stories shine a bright light on the complex nature of the patient/physician relationship. Each tale leaves us with the feeling of having been a privileged observer during a private and yet momentous encounter with a fellow human being. In the process we are not just moved, but somehow transformed.” – Abraham C. Verghese, MD, author of My Own Country and The Tennis Partner
“Doctors, as well as nurses and patients, families and friends, will find themselves, at least in some measure, principal characters in these pages: though some may be fiction, they are all true stories.” – Faith T. Fitzgerald, MD, Professor of Medicine, University of California, Davis
“Part story-teller, part doctor, part romantic — LaCombe weaves all these identities together to produce some of our best current medical writing.” – Daniel D. Federman, MD, Professor of Medicine, former Dean, Harvard Medical School
“I have been a fortunate doctor, sitting as I have been in the front row of the drama of life. Here are some of the stories I have lived, stories of country medicine with lessons for the city as well.” – from the author’s preface
“The writings of master story-teller Dr. Mike LaCombe . . . will inspire, educate and delight students, patients, and physicians. Indeed, it is for all of us.” – David J. Elpern, MD, editor, Cell 2 Soul Journal of Medical Humanities
254 pages, 9.25 x 6.25, with glossary of medical terms for the layman
Hardcover, 2010; ISBN: 0-89101-118-8 / 978-0-89101-118-7; $24.95
Michael A. LaCombe, MD is a graduate of Harvard Medical School. For eighteen years he practiced general medicine in western Maine and for the past twelve years has practiced cardiology at MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta, Maine. The first author to write fiction for medical journals, he has published over one hundred short stories and other literary pieces.
Dr. LaCombe has given public readings of these stories at universities and medical schools across the country and internationally, and together with Broadway performers Barbara Barry and Paul Hecht, he performed five of his stories at the Mayo Clinic, which performance has been taped and used for the teaching of ethics and humanism in various medical schools and residency programs. He has served as a visiting professor of medicine at over forty medical schools and university hospitals, including Yale, Harvard, and UCLA. He appeared with Ann Landers at Harvard Medical School Class Day/Alumni Day in 1993. His readings have been recorded on eight audio-tapes in addition to two video tapes, and read his stories in Auckland, New Zealand while serving as a visiting professor and keynote speaker there.
Image Description: Bedside: The Art of Medicine cover image