The Medical Detectives Summary & Study Guide

Berton Roueché
This Study Guide consists of approximately 33 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Medical Detectives.
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The Medical Detectives Summary & Study Guide Description

The Medical Detectives Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on The Medical Detectives by Berton Roueché.

Author Berton Roueche is still recognized as one of the premier medical journalists in modern U.S. history. As a member of the staff of The New Yorker Magazine, Roueche began a lengthy project of researching diseases and ailments which at first stumped the medical profession but which were ultimately diagnosed and treated, most of them successfully. Each "mystery" was recorded and chronicled as a feature article for the magazine, and, eventually, the pieces were compiled into his work, The Medical Detectives.

Roueche has captured, by way of comprehensive interviews with physicians, public health officials, and members of the Atlanta Center for Disease Control staff, a supremely thorough recording of each mystery, beginning with the onset of symptoms in a victim, through the diagnostic hypotheses, the laboratory testing, the interviews with patients and their friends and family, the investigation of home and neighborhood environments, to the ultimate correct diagnosis and method(s) of treatment. The reader is struck by the detail and recording of even the most minute potential clues that become a part of each of these cases, and, as well, the critical inclusion of the empathetic reporting of each situation through the patient's eyes. The depiction of true human suffering, moreover, results in a work that is more than a mere clinical approach to illness and disease.

Three impressions are left with the reader. First, disease is no "respecter of persons." The cases included involve individuals from every socio-economic group within America, and individuals with high levels of education and wonderful resources fall victim as do individuals from the lowliest of circumstances. Second, one is impressed with the investigative techniques utilized by the medical profession, as it attempts to locate sources, causes, and conditions which have resulted in mysterious ailments and epidemics. In the use of these techniques, moreover, the methods of pure scientific investigation are utilized along with universally-accepted criminal investigative techniques, to bring about an interesting but highly effective blend of science, technology, and traditional "gum shoe" detective work. Third, the reader is certainly struck by the fact that dangerous germs, drugs, metals, and chemicals abound in our environment, many of which are the causes of diseases about which we already have understanding but, as well, may be the causes of future illness and disease which have not yet presented themselves.

Without doubt, The Medical Detectives should remain a classic work for many years to come. It is probably the best work to date depicting the process of medical investigation, diagnosis and treatment, and these processes will remain intact, even as medical science and technology continue to progress. There will continue to be medical mysteries to solve, and the established methodologies of finding solutions, demonstrated so thoroughly in this book, will continue to serve the medical profession well.

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This section contains 466 words
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