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It made me want to embrace those sensitive, compassionate, dedicated and knowledgeable doctors and the equally compassionate and courageous patients. This book brings the relationships among doctors and between patients to its most idealistic level, a level often viewed as being too utopian to be attained.

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It's attained and beyond in these pages. One message that hit a chord is how we have created a myth about doctors and have forced them to live within this myth.

This myth turns doctors into gods and goddesses, thus expecting them to perform beyond human error. Once we see our doctors as human, then the true healing process can begin within a truly human relationship, where forgiveness, understanding and compassion become part of the relationship. Doctors will also be free to do what they do best without fear of lawsuits, once this understanding is established among patients and their families. Imagine families and doctors working together, knowing the best is being practiced.

Often, we cannot expect perfections. All the sciences, technology and knowledge cannot remove the humanity of what it means to be human as presented here. Above all that is being said and done, there is that freedom to live better today than we did yesterday. I'm sharing this book title with many. Hope you're on my list.


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July 13, - Published on Amazon. I saw the PBS show based on the book and it was very inspiring. The book is more of the same. Go to Amazon. Discover the best of shopping and entertainment with Amazon Prime. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery on millions of eligible domestic and international items, in addition to exclusive access to movies, TV shows, and more.

Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave? True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads? And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?


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  • And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow? And now look again, and see what will naturally follow it' the prisoners are released and disabused of their error.

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    At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -what will be his reply?

    And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him? And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in the objects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?

    And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he's forced into the presence of the sun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated?

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    When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities. He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men and other objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?

    Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is. He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold?

    And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitate himself on the change, and pity them? She is also lead investigator and director of the UVA Center for Appreciative Practice, a positive culture transformation initiative across the Schools of Medicine and Nursing, the Medical Center, and the Health Services Foundation physician group practice.

    Choosing Wisdom

    Justine Owens is associate professor in the UVA Department of Medicine, and has served on the faculty there for the past twenty-two years. She served as research director for the Center for the Study of Complementary and Alternative Therapies at UVA from to , and she is the author of numerous publications on alternative therapies for pain management. She has conducted many qualitative research studies in education and healthcare and is currently project director for Call2Health, a new initiative devoted to improving the health of African-American women with diabetes using strengths-based group visits and text messaging.

    The participants in this study show how the straw of adversity can be spun into the gold of wisdom.


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    • I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes that life is a journey toward psychosocial growth. Health care providers of every discipline will benefit from the elegant strategies proposed; wise lessons from ordinary people.