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This collection of Howards poetry is a delight to read. His poems speak directly to us. They are accessible, engaging, and, most of all, truthful.
Jack Coulehan, M.D.
Stony Brook University Medical Center
In the poetry itself, I appreciate Steins sense of moral clarity, the importance of doing the right thing ( Why were here ). A pervasive element throughout these poems is his great empathy for both doctors and the always suffering, sometimes hopeless, resentful patients they serve ( Acronym )...
Johanna Shapiro, Ph.D.
Department of Family Medicine
University of California-Irvine
In the Shadow of Asclepius brings together poems written over a forty-year career of teaching and living in American medicine as a medical, psychoanalytic, organizational, and applied anthropologist. Howard Steins poems from American medicine are the fruit of careful listening, observing, and often bearing witness to peoples experiences and stories. Many poems in this book come from Steins love of and long familiarity with the culturescapes and landscapes of Oklahoma.
Through empathy and an inner resonance with the people and situations he evokes, Stein shows how poetry can not only contribute to medical humanities, and more broadly to the humanities in general, but can also hone scientific, clinical acumen as well. That is, poetry can not only enhance self-awareness, empathy, and the doctor-patient relationship, but it can also improve the diagnostic process, the treatment, and the clinical outcome.
This book deserves a wide readership among medical educators, practicing physicians, professionals in the clinical behavioral sciences and medical humanities, patients and their families, and all those interested in the lives touched by medicine in the United States.