Aids Doctors: Voices From The Epidemic: An Oral History

Paperback | July 15, 2002

byRonald Bayer, Gerald M. Oppenheimer

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Today, AIDS has been indelibly etched in our consciousness. Yet it was less than twenty years ago that doctors confronted a sudden avalanche of strange, inexplicable, seemingly untreatable conditions that signaled the arrival of a devastating new disease. Bewildered, unprepared, and pushed tothe limit of their diagnostic abilities, a select group of courageous physicians nevertheless persevered. This unique collective memoir tells their story. Based on interviews with nearly eighty doctors whose lives and careers have centered on the AIDS epidemic from the early 1980s to the present, this candid, emotionally textured account details the palpable anxiety in the medical profession as it experienced a rapid succession of cases for whichthere was no clinical history. The physicians interviewed chronicle the roller coaster experiences of hope and despair, as they applied newly developed, often unsuccessful therapies. Yet these physicians who chose to embrace the challenge confronted more than just the sense of therapeutichelplessness in dealing with a disease they could not conquer. They also faced the tough choices inherent in treating a controversial, sexually and intravenously transmitted illness as many colleagues simply walked away. Many describe being gripped by a sense of mission: by the moral imperativeto treat the disempowered and despised. Nearly all describe a common purpose, an esprit de corps that bound them together in a terrible yet exhilarating war against an invisible enemy. This extraordinary oral history forms a landmark effort in the understanding of the AIDS crisis. Carefully collected and eloquently told, the doctors' narratives reveal the tenacity and unquenchable optimism that has paved the way for taming a 20th-century plague.

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Today, AIDS has been indelibly etched in our consciousness. Yet it was less than twenty years ago that doctors confronted a sudden avalanche of strange, inexplicable, seemingly untreatable conditions that signaled the arrival of a devastating new disease. Bewildered, unprepared, and pushed tothe limit of their diagnostic abilities, a s...

Ronald Bayer teaches at the Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University. Gerald Oppenheimer teaches at Brooklyn College, City University of New York.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 6.1 × 9.09 × 0.91 inPublished:July 15, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195152395

ISBN - 13:9780195152395

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"The intimate revelations published in AIDS Doctors will resonate with many AIDS physicians. This book provides a blow-by-blow account of the bewilderment and shock felt by physicians who first encountered an unknown killer of young gay men. This book provides for both medical and lay readersan intimate glimpse into the dramatic struggles of the relatively few physicians who first confronted an epidemic of catastrophic proportions. It stands as a testament to the lives of physicians "gripped" by the AIDS epidemic." -- Philip B. Berger, Canadian Medical Association Journal, 163(11), Nov28, 2000