The Anatomy of Hope
The Anatomy of Hope
Jerome Groopman’s How People Prevail in the Face of
Illness: The Anatomy of Hope taught patients, vital lessons about coping in
life. This book covered a number of medical case studies. It showed the author
as a beginning intern while undergoing his first experiences with patients, and
later in his profession as an oncologist.
Groopman’s growth became evident by the way he related to
patients. At first under a teaching associate, he tried to give a patient a hopeful
picture. This was the case, although this woman had cancer that had
metastasized. But as this doctor developed in his practice, he provided his patients
with the necessary data, and instilled a true hope in their condition.
His patients therefore benefited from this new approach.
Groopman was able to develop professionally, and made it his duty to talk to
experts about patients’ emotions. He was particularly interested in the nature of
hope. This information made him aware of sections of the brain that were
responsible for positive behavior. Yet, he realized that there could be false
hope. This new gift in his medical tool box led him to successfully treat his
patients. But he also lost others to illness in the process. One patient who he
was fond of died, and devastated him. This setback was hard to take.
Some chapters dealt with Groopman himself as a patient. He
had suffered a back injury during a marathon. The author was experiencing
excruciating pain, visited specialists at different hospitals, but was unable
to find relief. It was interesting to note that how being a doctor didn’t help
his condition. To find a cure he consulted with different specialists.
Fortunately, he was able to find relief, his condition improved, and he could walk
many blocks. Groopman had put this belief of hope in action as he underwent
physical therapy, and the stress of living with a bad back just like he did
with his patients.