One week after graduating with honors from Harvard Medical School, Jody Heymann woke up in an emergency room with no memory of how she got there, and, within hours, was turned from physician into patient. The hospitalization and brain surgery that followed taught her more about the practice of medicine in America than all her years of schooling. Her deeply disturbing conclusion: patients all too often occupy the bottom rung of the ladder, with their legs tied to prevent them from climbing. Heymann's experiences as a patient convinced her to work toward a new, more compassionate spirit of medicine—one in which physicians and patients are equal partners.
"I do not say this lightly. This book should be read by everyone in medicine: students, residents, physicians, and insurers."—Daniel D. Federman, Harvard Medical School
"Jody Heymann affirms the power of stories, when written as beautifully as these, to instruct and to move. At the same time, Equal Partners speaks directly and clearly to a debate previously conducted in a jargon that is blessedly absent from this fine book."—Ethan Canin
"Equal Partners is a narrative of remarkable vividness, sobriety, clarity, and balance. Jody Heymann has plumbed patienthood to its depths, and has reentered medicine as a deep listener to patients and their needs, and as an advocate for a medicine which does not infantilize but recognizes individuality and autonomy, and makes patients equal partners with their physicians."—Oliver Sacks