AIDS Doctors
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AIDS Doctors : Voices from the Epidemic: An Oral History

3.97 (46 ratings by Goodreads)
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Today, AIDS has been indelibly etched in our consciousness. Yet it was less than twenty years ago that doctors confronted a sudden avalanche of strange, inexplicable, seemingly untreatable conditions that signaled the arrival of a devastating new disease. Bewildered, unprepared, and pushed to the limit of their diagnostic abilities, a select group of courageous physicians nevertheless persevered. This unique collective memoir tells their story. Based on interviews with nearly eighty doctors whose lives and careers have centered on the AIDS epidemic from the early 1980s to the present, this candid, emotionally textured account details the palpable anxiety in the medical profession as it experienced a rapid succession of cases for which there was no clinical history. The physicians interviewed chronicle the roller coaster experiences of hope and despair, as they applied newly developed, often unsuccessful therapies. Yet these physicians who chose to embrace the challenge confronted more than just the sense of therapeutic helplessness in dealing with a disease they could not conquer. They also faced the tough choices inherent in treating a controversial, sexually and intravenously transmitted illness as many colleagues simply walked away. Many describe being gripped by a sense of mission: by the moral imperative to treat the disempowered and despised. Nearly all describe a common purpose, an esprit de corps that bound them together in a terrible yet exhilarating war against an invisible enemy. This extraordinary oral history forms a landmark effort in the understanding of the AIDS crisis. Carefully collected and eloquently told, the doctors' narratives reveal the tenacity and unquenchable optimism that has paved the way for taming a 20th-century plague.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 152.4 x 223.52 x 22.86mm | 476.27g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195152395
  • 9780195152395
  • 1,694,182

Review quote

The intimate revelations published in AIDS Doctors will resonate with many AIDS physicians. This book provides a blow-by-blow account of the bewilderment and shock felt by physicians who first encountered an unknown killer of young gay men. This book provides for both medical and lay readers an intimate glimpse into the dramatic struggles of the relatively few physicians who first confronted an epidemic of catastrophic proportions. It stands as a testament to the lives of physicians "gripped" by the AIDS epidemic. * Philip B. Berger, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 163(11), Nov 28, 2000 * This book tells the moving story of doctors who have committed their professional and often their personal lives to the AIDS epidemic. The book should enjoy a general readership, sicne the lay public can relate to the human stories that detail the failings and triumphs of the health care system in relation to AIDS. The book is more than informative and moving * it is a testament to the devotion of physicians to the sick. * A sweeping narrative of the AIDS epidemic chronicles the terrifying early years to the current climate of therapeutic optimism, weaving together the intensely personal stories of the doctors who first confronted the crisis. * Forecast * Aids Doctors walks us through the American epidemic with grace, drama and a mastery of the social history of a profoundly important event. It deserves to sit on the bookshelf alongside earlier classics of the epidemic, Randy Shilts's And the Band Played On, Abraham Verghese's My Own Country and Abigail Zuger's Strong Shadows. * The New York Times Book Review * In the great tradition of Studs Terkel, Bayer and Oppenheimer offer us the opportunity to hear the determined voices of clinicians who stepped forward to care for those stricken with AIDS in the terrifying early years of the epidemic. The eloquence of these men and women, their courage and compassion, is a powerful reminder that in the midst of tragedy we sometimes find our humanity. This extraordinary book will constitute a critical document and guide as we construct a history of this ongoing and devastating epidemic. * Allan Brandt, Harvard University, author of No Magic Bullet: A Social History of Venereal Disease in the United States since 1880 * AIDS Doctors is a captivating story that reads like a medical thriller. To hear the story from the point of view of those on the front line and to witness their anxieties and their transformation is truly unique. This book will not only be an important chronicle of the history of AIDS in this country, it will hopefully serve as inspiration for young people contemplating a career in medicine. * Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and The Tennis Partner * AIDS, the most dreaded plague of our epoch, has found its heroes. In this stunning document, doctors, unsung and uncelebrated, are meeting this challenge. Bayer and Oppenheimer, two masterful interviewers, have sounded, in the words of these heroes, a note of hope and possible triumph. * Studs Turkel * A detailed oral history of the first decades of the AIDS epidemic, told from the vantage point of the treating physician...A cold and revealing history of an American archetype, sure to appeal to readers whose lives have been affected by AIDS. * Kirkus Reviews *show more

About Ronald Bayer

Ronald Bayer teaches at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Gerald Oppenheimer teaches at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.show more

Rating details

46 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 22% (10)
4 57% (26)
3 20% (9)
2 2% (1)
1 0% (0)
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