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May 2021 Biography & Autobiography

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    For sale with exclusive rights in: CA
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    Distributor: Publishers Group Canada Supplies to:CA Availability: Temporarily unavailable Excluding:May 21, 2021 On Sale Date:May 21, 2021 Carton Quantity:28 $40.50 CAD
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Grief Connects Us
A Neurosurgeon's Lessons on Love, Loss, and Compassion
By (author): Joseph D. Stern Foreword by: Sanjay Gupta MD
9781949481518 Hardcover, Cloth over boards English BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Medical May 21, 2021
$40.50 CAD
Active 6.46 x 9.17 x 1.01 in | 560 gr 304 pages Central Recovery Press, LLC Central Recovery Press

In his exceptionally thought-provoking and moving memoir, neurosurgeon Joseph D. Stern explores how personal loss influences the way physicians relate to patients and their families.

How does a doctor who deals with the death of patients on a regular basis confront his own loss when his beloved sister is living out her last days?

Despite a career as a neurosurgeon, Joseph Stern learned more about the nature of illness and death after his younger sister, Victoria, developed leukemia than his formal medical training ever taught him. Her death broke down the self-protective barriers he had built to perform his job and led to a profound shift in his approach to medicine.

During the year of his sister’s illness, Dr. Stern developed a greater awareness of the needs of patients and their families; of the burdens they carry; of the importance of connection, communication, and gratitude; and of what it means to ask the right questions.

Grief Connects Us bridges the gap between patients and doctors, providing a window into their shared concerns. Interspersing reflections from Victoria's journal, stories of patients and colleagues, and insights from experts, Dr. Stern has orchestrated a symphony of voices guiding us toward greater mutual understanding and appreciation of the beauty and fragility of life.

No matter which side of the patient-doctor relationship you find yourself on, listening with empathy, a willingness to be vulnerable, and emotional agility are skills we can all develop to improve how we meet difficult, unavoidable challenges.

Joseph Stern, MD is a partner in the country’s largest neurosurgical group practice, Carolina Neurosurgery and Spine Associates, and practices neurosurgery at the Moses H. Cone Hospital, the flagship hospital of Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina. Dr. Stern has published three recent essays in theNew York Times: “Dying in the Neurosurgical I.C.U” (January 14, 2020), “Moral Distress in Neurosurgery” (August 15, 2019), and “Grief As My Guide: How My Sister Made Me a Better Doctor” (September 14, 2018). Visit Dr. Stern at

"Many of us build walls that are impenetrable, but few of us are immune to the power of grief. By interweaving his own vulnerability and suffering with those of other patients and physicians, Dr. Stern makes us understand that only through empathy and compassion can we truly connect. Powerful, profound, and compelling.”—James R. Doty, MD, Professor of Neurosurgery and founder of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, Stanford University School of Medicine,New York Times bestselling author ofInto the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Secrets of the Brain and the Mysteries of the Heart

“InGrief Connects Us, Stern dissects the heart-wrenching illnesses of people close to him, and in so doing dismantles the emotional armor those of us in medicine unwittingly don, to accompany his patients in their suffering and feel with them. A transformative read.”—Mikkael A. Sekeres, MD, MS, author ofWhen Blood Breaks Down: Life Lessons from Leukemia and essayist for theNew York Times

“Every patient and medical professional who meets the line that separates them will understand when it needs to be dissolved to open the gateway for empathy and compassion.Grief Connects Us is an essential guide and inspiration in these challenging times.”—Helen Riess, MD, author ofThe Empathy Effect, Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School

"A grieving brother, an expert neurosurgeon. As Jody lives through his sister's death, we see him grow into his human-ness. And as Dr. Stern examines his profession, he detects and prescribes compassion. This is a brave tale, and the teller is broken, open, yearning, and true."—Margaret Edson, author ofWit

"Dr. Stern gives us the gift his sister and her family gave to him: insights into what it means to traverse illness and the quandaries of the healthcare system, to hold hope and despair in the same hand. And, importantly, he allows us into the quiet and under-appreciated zone of being a caregiver, a zone with its own forces and triumphs and miseries unlike any other."—BJ Miller, MD, hospice and palliative medicine physician and author ofA Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death

"Grief Connects Us is the moving account of Dr. Stern’s transformation from reserved neurosurgeon to the kind of compassionate physician we all hope for. His book is a heartbreaking yet inspiring call for a more courageous relationship between patients and doctors, one marked by openness, mutual respect, and the acknowledgment of our common humanity.”—Pauline Chen, MD, physician andNew York Times bestselling author ofFinal Exam: A Surgeon’s Reflections on Mortality

Grief Connects Us is a beautiful book and an important one. The way Dr. Stern writes about illness, hospitals, diagnoses—all the things clouding collective consciousness—from the dual perspective of expertise and lived experience is particularly timely and urgent.”—Catherine Mayer, author ofGood Grief and co-founder of the Women’s Equality Party (UK)

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