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Descripción de la editorial
"Insightful and filled with verve…electrifying." —Wall Street Journal
Hailed as "an astute book of enormous importance" (Sherwin Nuland), The Surgeons follows the team at one of the world's premier cardiac surgery and transplant centers. Given unprecedented access, Charles R. Morris recounts in thrilling detail a late-night against-the-clock "harvest run" to secure a precious transplantable organ, the heartbreaking story of a child's failed transplant, and more. Along the way, Morris reflects on how doctors really think, rising health care costs, and the future of health care in America.
To get a nuts-and-bolts understanding of heart surgeons from the decisions they make in the operating room to the impact of colleagues, patients and pharmaceutical companies on their jobs Morris (The Tycoons) "embedded" himself for six months in the elite cardiac surgery center at Columbia-Presbyterian hospital in New York City. Unlike some noncardiac surgeries where music blares in the operating room, an aortic valve replacement for a retired pharmacy executive, says Morris, is a solemn affair, the calm briefly interrupted only when the patient fibrillates, his heart muscle fibers fluttering irregularly. The author finds it "exhilarating" to watch as a surgeon "basically built... a new heart" for a five-day-old baby with a major heart malformation. But even technical marvels can't save a desperately ill four-year-old girl after a heart transplant. The reserved Craig Smith, the unit's head, who gained national fame when he performed a quadruple bypass on former President Clinton, impresses readers with his skill and deep concern for his patients. From detailing the workings of the heart's chambers and valves to the bald economics of cardiac surgery including Smith's income ($1.5 million in 2004), the hospital's billing and collection procedures and forecasts on universal health insurance Morris masterfully breaks down complex jargon, procedures and policies for a lay audience.