Neurology Rounds with the Maverick: Adventures with Patients from the Golden Age of Medicine
by Bernard Patten
When I was contacted to review this book, I was excited. Not only would I get a free book but it was a subject that I am very fond as I am a big fan of Harold Klawans (my review, Four by Klawans ) and of course, Oliver Saks though I don’t have any reviews written despite having read the majority of his books.
With this is in mind, I had high hopes that I would also enjoy Dr Patten’s book. Alas, I enjoyed it up to a point.
The medical narratives were awesomely interesting and I really like Dr Patten would advocate for his patients especially bucking the system.
Having said that, there were two things that I really didn’t like about the book. The first was the affectation Dr Patten choose to use to address his audience, by mostly asking “what would you do?” My first thought was, “I’m not a doctor, bud, you tell me!” It also got a bit tired the third time I encountered this. However, that’s a minor quibble.
My major quibble was how Dr Patten characterized two of his black female patients and one by-stander. There were times when the racial make-up of the patient was important but it was degrading to me, as a black woman, to have Dr Patten refer three times to “big black mamas.” Was that really necessary? He could have told the narrative without making reference to the women’s racial heritage and it didn’t really add to what he wrote.
The last part of the book concerned Dr Patten’s work concerning breast implants and by my way of thinking, he short changed himself. He could have written another Emperor of All Maladies (an amazing book, btw) focused solely on the history of breast implants and his fight with the manufacturers.
I ultimately decided to give this book 4/5 stars. It’s a good read except for those parts I personally objected to. Well worth taking the time to read for those of you who are interested in neurological medical narratives.
[posted 15 September 2019]