This is Therese’s battered copy of The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine, a memoir about practicing medicine during healthcare reform.
Therese dog-eared passages about how reformers want to transform the delivery of medical care using processes pioneered in high-risk industries like flying planes and assembling automobiles. They want hospitals to run like factories maximized for efficiency and effectiveness. Factories make things; people are formed through habits we learn together. Despite our efforts at automating care and billing electronically, medicine remains a set of skills you practice over years of training until they become habits which orient your life towards the care of ill people.
Drawing upon personal stories, validated studies, and forgotten histories which support these habits, The Finest Traditions was nominated for the National Book Award. The book takes readers inside pathology suites, academic mental centers, antiquated asylums, CrossFit boxes, and medical marijuana dispensaries. In these spaces, readers like Therese ultimately found hope for the renewal of medicine: