–Read India Initiative—
This is only an attempt to create interest in reading. We may not get the time to read all the books in our lifetime. But such reviews, talk and synopsis will at least convey what the book is all about
THE FINAL DIAGNOSIS
Illness … doctor … pathologist … investigation … diagnosis … treatment. Yes, I’m talking of THE FINAL DIAGNOSIS by Arthur Hailey.
At times, even an ace pathologist might have to send his findings, his slides to two experts who are contemporaries and in the same discipline of medicine. Where, one might say the tumour is malignant and the other might say the tumour is non-malignant or benign.
So then, how does Chief Pathologist, Dr Joseph Pearson finally script his … final diagnosis. Basis which the surgeon would have to decide whether the amputation of leg is required or not. The pathologist is often known as the doctor the patient seldom sees.
In ‘THE FINAL DIAGNOSIS’ Arthur Hailey unveils, the tension packed drama that is being played in the mammoth complexity of a great hospital. A world, where, one faulty diagnosis or one irrevocable error, precipitates, into appalling tragedies.
In the enthralling story there is an ongoing professional war between the Chief of Surgery Kent O’ Donnel and Chief Pathologist, Joe (Joseph) Pearson—who was once an ace doctor but with the passage of time he has stagnated. Which he realizes only towards the end of his career.
The book also describes the struggle of a young pathologist, David Coleman, who happens to be, doctor Joe Pearson’s deputy. The conflict emanates when he attempts to upgrade the standards of the hackneyed hospital lab which is controlled by the ageing and once brilliant doctor Joseph Pearson. Hailey takes us behind the reception areas, and into those emergency rooms and the bustling world of medicine, to reveal those hidden corridors of a world that the patient never gets to see.
The centre of action is the Three Counties Hospital in Burlington, Pennsylvania. The novel has a plethora of characters … prime being:
Orden Brown—Chairman of Three Counties Hospital
Eustace Swayne—Board Member and a retail magnet of a chain of departmental stores.
Doctor Joseph Pearson—Chief Pathologist around whom the entire novel revolves.
Doctor Kent O’ Donnel—Chief of Surgery and Head of the Medical Board.
Doctor David Coleman—Deputy of doctor Joseph Pearson
Doctor Charles Dornberger—The baby’s doctor … Paediatrician
Doctor Lucy Grainger—Orthopedic Surgeon
Hilda Straugham—Chief Dietician
Vivian Lobourton—Trainee nurse
Alexander and his wife Elizabeth.
The language of the book is moving and precise, with tailor made sentences that fits the bill. There is usage of high-toned vocabulary, but it doesn’t give that shade of verbosity. The intensity and tone of the sentences change as frequently as the change of scene. The flow of book gives you a feel as if you’re seeing and not reading—something close to a movie. Most descriptions are vivid as if you are witnessing the scene. Especially, the ones that describe the happenings in autopsy, pathology and even surgery.
The novel makes an important point for doctors through Chief Pathologist, doctor Pearson. And that is, one should never give up his or her pursuit for the latest inventions in the medical world, no matter how much work pressure is there. For that was the sole cause of doctor Pearson’s failure. And that holds good for any career today.
And the scenes when Vivian is diagnosed of cancer and when Alexanders lose their new born baby because of a faulty blood test report in the hospital are nail-biting and highly emotive.
I would give nine out of ten to this book. So, don’t just miss it.
One last point—I was amazed at the manner, in which, these doctors smoked in the hospital and drank in parties. And to their patients they must be canvassing otherwise. It is said about authors that they try and paint the real picture of the times when the novel is written. I now believe in it ever more. This novel was written way back in 1959. Still I would say. Pick it up, even if you have to find time to read it.
By Kamlesh Tripathi
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Shravan Charity Mission is an NGO that works for poor children suffering from life threatening diseases especially cancer. Should you wish to donate for the cause. The bank details are given below:
NAME OF ACCOUNT: SHRAVAN CHARITY MISSION
Account no: 680510110004635 (BANK OF INDIA)
IFSC code: BKID0006805
GLOOM BEHIND THE SMILE
(The book is about a young cancer patient. Now archived in 7 prestigious libraries of the US, including, Harvard University and Library of Congress. It can also be accessed in MIT through Worldcat.org. Besides, it is also available for reading in Libraries and archives of Canada and Cancer Aid and Research Foundation Mumbai)
ONE TO TANGO … RIA’S ODYSSEY
(Is a book on ‘singlehood’ about a Delhi girl now archived in Connemara Library, Chennai and Delhi Public Library, GOI, Ministry of Culture, Delhi)
AADAB LUCKNOW … FOND MEMORIES
(Is a fiction written around the great city of Nawabs—Lucknow. It describes Lucknow in great detail and also talks about its Hindu-Muslim amity. That happens to be its undying characteristic. The book was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival of 2014)
REFRACTIONS … FROM THE PRISM OF GOD
(Co-published by Cankids–Kidscan, a pan India NGO and Shravan Charity Mission, that works for Child cancer in India. The book is endorsed by Ms Preetha Reddy, MD Apollo Hospitals Group. It was launched in Lucknow International Literary Festival 2016)
TYPICAL TALE OF AN INDIAN SALESMAN
(Is a story of an Indian salesman who is, humbly qualified. Yet he fights his ways through unceasing uncertainties to reach the top. A good read not only for salesmen. The book was launched on 10th February, 2018 in Gorakhpur Lit-Fest. Now available in Amazon, Flipkart and Onlinegatha
(ALL THE ABOVE TITLES ARE AVAILABLE FOR SALE IN AMAZON, FLIPKART AND OTHER ONLINE STORES OR YOU COULD EVEN WRITE TO US FOR A COPY)