This book is a compilation of 19 medical mystery cases, the details of which were collected over the years by the author, who is also a respected medical doctor. Some are humorous and all are interesting. The underlying focus of this book is relying on listening to what a patient is or is not telling the doctor, instead of fancy modern testing.
This book was both entertaining and educational – one of my favorite combinations. We start off with a case of a fellow male doctor developing breasts. Apparently, this is not all that uncommon for men suffering from testicular or adrenal gland cancer, or those who partake of marijuana. Haha! You would think that last tid bit would be better circulated among college students. Just to satisfy your curiosity, the gentlemen was not suffering from any of these and the source of his extra estrogen was of a more personal nature. *eyes slant towards the wife*
The case studies take off from there wandering from botulism to clay eating to self-inflicted injuries/illness to mass hysteria to several others. It was a fascinating mix of well understood (if little seen) cause and effect to the still not fully understood. I was especially interested in the few cases dealing with the self-inflicted. I would think this would be especially vexing for modern doctors, with their already full schedules and yet more patients needing real treatment and care.
This book is written in such a way that you don’t need to be a medical doctor to grasp the meaning of a scene or the importance of a certain diagnosis. The author does a good job of balancing the medical terms with lay person explanations. I feel the book is accessible to a wide range of folks with minimal medical knowledge.
The pacing of the book is good, moving back and forth between the serious and deadly to the humorous and back again. It was like sitting down for a tea or beer with the author and having a good long chat about all the weird stuff he had seen during his long career. Definitely worth the read!
Narration: James Kiser was a good pick for this audiobook. He had a clear, and conversational, voice throughout the book. He never stumbled over the medical terms. During the few times where emotion was called for, he imbued the performance with it (awe, seriousness, humor, etc.).