Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam
By Zara D. Garcia-Alvarez / @ZaraAlexis
Author: Vincent Lam
Format: Hardcover, 368 pages
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Pub Date: September 26, 2006
Winner of the Giller Prize in 2006.
The book is an easy, engaging read (it took me a few days). I didn’t realize the chapters were meant to be interrelated short stories until much further down the work.
It’s an excellent “insider view” from a doctor’s perspective, the dilemmas of those in the medical profession: the body politic of the health system, the de-sensitized conditioning necessary to meet high volume and demand, the inevitability of sickness and death, and the tension between remaining professional, yet compassionate, while retaining a sense of one’s own boundaries and needs.
It speaks of the undeniable need to address more than the physiological, but also the breadth and scope of the fragility of the human condition—be it physical or otherwise—for both doctors and patients.