“A volume brimming with humanitarian lessons in medicine and life alike.” ―Kirkus Reviews

"A generous, compassionate book about what it is to be human and what it is to care. Paul Seward writes in language so clear and compelling you can see straight through it and into the beating heart beneath." ―Kate Cole-Adams, author of Anesthesia

Drawing on a career launched in the first days of the specialty of emergency medicine, Dr. Paul Seward takes the reader with him into the ER in his riveting memoir.

Told in fast-paced, stand-alone chapters that recall unforgettable medical cases, Patient Care offers the fascination of medical mysteries, wrapped in the drama of living and dying. A snap judgment about a child nearly kills him, and a priest who may be having a heart attack refuses treatment. An asthmatic man develops air bubbles in his shoulders, and a pharmacist is haunted by a decision he makes.

But the book goes beyond these stories. Each chapter explores ethical questions that remind us of the full humanity of patients, nurses, coroners, pharmacists, and, of course, doctors. How do they care for strangers in their moments of crisis? How do they care for themselves?

Dr. Seward rejects doctor-as-God narratives to write frankly about moments of failure, and champions the role of his colleagues in health care. And, for all the moral dilemmas here, there is plenty of wit and humor, too. (See the patient who punches our doctor.) Readers of Patient Care will find themselves thinking along with Dr. Seward: “What is the right thing to do? What would I do?”