"A good doctor is a good person." But today, Needleman argues, the physician has become the dispirited pawn of a "medical arms race" in which financial considerations are taking precedence over the welfare of patients. Cut off from great ideas and awakening experiences, doctors are either complacent or riddled with tension. Addressing them directly, the author mourns: "You are dying in your tracks, and you know it."
Medicine for the practitioner and the patient alike, this book says that we need to train doctors to be wise healers working on the heart, not mechanics who fix bodies. Carrying resonances of Robert M. Persig's ground-breaking Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, it points to the physician's quest, now, as our own: to rediscover the moral wonder that will enable us "to do the right thing and do it well".
"As Robert Persig did, Jacob Needleman has taken an elusive set of ideas and made of them a drama that even the hidebound materialist is bound to attend"
—The New York Times
"His arguments are poetic and persuasive."