A Piece of My Mind is a collection of 80 offerings selected from the weekly column of the same name that has animated the pages of JAMA and aroused its readers since 1980. The content of these diverse stories varies from whimsical to profound, and they evoke feelings that span inspirational to hysterical. These narratives, however, are fused by their stark medical realism, and whether the setting is Vietnam, a pediatric emergency room, an ICU, or a doctor's office, it is apparent that the authors have labored in the trenches of medicine. Their special experiences have engendered these stories.
In poignant paragraphs, doctors share their search for the soul of medicine and, perhaps not surprisingly, discover it is prismatic. Where one physician finds meaning through running "in a cloud of memories of failures, of lost lives and abandoned hopes," another doctor uncovers fulfillment "from the sudden intimacies with total strangers."