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Clarion Review

The Making of the Ideal Physician

E.C. Rosenow
J.K. Mansel
W.R. Wilson
Trafford (Dec 8, 2017)
Softcover $17.99 (206pp)

Clarion Rating: 5 out of 5

The Making of the Ideal Physician is a timely, deeply informed, invaluable reference for physicians at every stage of their careers.

The Making of the Ideal Physician by a trio of impressively credentialed doctors—Edward C. Rosenow, J. Keith Mansel, and Walter R. Wilson—is an outstanding and comprehensive guide to becoming an effective physician. The book has much to offer patients, as well.

Written in concise, well-organized chapters, the book begins by addressing those contemplating a medical career, outlining the skills and personality traits needed, and supplying invaluable tips on applying to, interviewing for, and gaining admission to medical school.

Subsequent chapters offer similarly knowledgeable advice on succeeding in medical school, having a successful residency, and serving in hospitals and private practices. The book goes on to illuminate later aspects of a medical career, including mentoring, serving on boards, and teaching. It also covers grittier topics like coping with stress and burnout, working through conflicts with colleagues, and retirement.

The book is written in a clear, friendly, jargon-free style, making it an excellent starting point for high school students contemplating medical careers. Information is well organized and complete, made easily accessible by the judicious use of boldfaced subheads, bulleted lists, examples, and boxed sidebars. Checklists of what will—and won’t—carry weight with medical school admission boards, what skills to focus on to fill various positions, mini case studies, and lists of physicians’ obligations to patients are included throughout.

The book will also be useful to patients; it fosters understanding of what doctors learn and experience in the course of training, and provides good groundwork for a productive relationship. Chapters on what physicians owe their patients will help patients understand what’s reasonable to expect and what’s not, and will encourage shy patients to voice their questions and concerns about treatments.

A chapter for physicians on supporting patients through end-of-life illnesses will be helpful to any family coping with terminal illness, while a special chapter for patients offers numerous tips on making the most of doctors’ limited time, coming to the appointment with information that will facilitate treatment, and participating in a productive, healing alliance with a physician. This chapter also includes a suggested “Patient’s Bill of Rights.”

One of the most refreshing aspects of the book is that it consistently pays attention to the human side of medicine. The book addresses topics such as the goal of treating all patients—even angry and uncooperative ones—with compassion; the need to encourage rather than lecture; and the importance of remaining alert to auxiliary problems that patients may need help with, such as depression, fear, stress, and addiction.

Though the book is a product of more than a century of combined medical experience, there is nothing hidebound about it. A chapter on stress and burnout, of interest to both doctors and patients, discusses non-pharmacological coping alternatives such as therapy pets, massage, the benefits of laughter, and a promising study that suggests that stroking velvet lowers stress and depression.

The Making of the Ideal Physician is a timely, deeply informed, invaluable reference for physicians at every stage of their careers.

Reviewed by Susan Waggoner
April 10, 2018


Blueink Review

The Making of the IDEAL Physician
Edward C.Rosenow III, MD; J. Keith Mansel, MD; Walter R. Wilson, MD
Publisher: Trafford Pages: 192 Price: (paperback) $17.99 ISBN: 9781490783703 Reviewed: May, 2018 Author Website: Visit »

In The Making of the IDEAL Physician, physicians Edward C. Rosenow III, Keith Mansel and Walter R. Wilson use their combined experience of more than 100 years to deliver information the “ideal” physician should know, offering advice on how to become a physician, and, once that’s accomplished, how to treat every patient as you would like a family member treated.

Chapter subjects include physician-patient interaction (with subtitles such as “Body Language—Yours Not the Patient’s!”); how to be an “ideal” medical resident, and how to become a physician educator, prepare medical talks and other specific career advice. The authors also stress the importance of finding good mentors and offer invaluable insider information on applying for medical school, including what to say (or not say) in your applications and how to prepare for interviews.

The book is chockfull of helpful, easy-to-read bulleted items, but the text suffers from a few issues, as well. Flow and organization can be puzzling. For example, Chapter 5 is on being a better resident, but by Chapter 6, readers are already reading about educating future physicians. Some of the doctors’ advice is repeated, word for word, just pages after it’s introduced. (“You can’t heal if you are angry,” appears on page 22; it’s repeated, verbatim, on page 35.) |

Additionally, the authors sometimes make generalized statements without enough specifics. A chapter dedicated to apathy and burnout instructs physicians to read Richard Carlson’s books (Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all Small Stuff). It would have been helpful to first point out what “small stuff” physicians sweat. Finally, some advice seems a bit outdated or tone-deaf, such as suggesting you can get your child patients to laugh if you ask if they are married.

Despite such shortcomings, there’s a wealth of solid information in this volume, with every page packed with advice. As such, The Making of the IDEAL Physician offers a valuable resource for anyone interested in pursuing a medical career.

BlueInk Heads-Up: This would be a wonderful resource for medical and career libraries.
Also available in hardcover and ebook.