Kirkus Book Review
THE DOCTOR’S BLACK BAG:
A collection of debut short essays recalling the author’s experiences during five decades as a general practitioner in the American Southwest.
This memoir, which has a fluid timeline that moves back and forth over more than four decades, is loaded with vignettes about Schmidt’s experiences with individual patients. As a result, it effectively illustrates the day-to- day life of a general practitioner before the days of medical conglomerates. He opens, for instance, with an amusing tale about Christmas Eve 1962, in Jal, when he was repeatedly called to the emergency room to treat patients’ injuries after they tried out skateboards they gave their kids. He also occasionally vents about Medicare regulations regarding such things as doorway widths and about “new societal norms” that discourage diagnostic physical contact, but he also counsels that doctors must always listen to what their patients are saying—and, yes, he has a story for that.
Engaging, sometimes-poignant, and occasionally acerbic stories from a longtime physician.
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