The sequel to MAN'S 4TH BEST HOSPITAL
and THE HOUSE OF GOD
will be released on July 4, 2023
"THE SPIRIT OF THE PLACE"
Prequel to "OUR HOSPITAL"
Winner of Two National Book of the Year Awards
Sam Shem's other websites
ABOUT SAM SHEM
Samuel Shem, Professor of Medicine in Medical Humanities at NYU Medical School, is a novelist, playwright, and activist. His first novel, The House of God, was called “one of the two most important American medical novels of the 20th century” by The Lancet and was chosen by Publishers Weekly as #2 on its list of “The 10 Best Satires of All Time” (#1 Don Quixote, #3 Catch-22).
His novel on psychiatric training, Mount Misery, was called “another classic—biting, humorous, superb.” The Spirit of the Place won two American "Best Literary Novel of the Year” awards, and At The Heart of the Universe was described by Abraham Verghese as “poignant and tender, a novel about love, parenting, and the nature of home—a lovely transformative story.” Shem and Janet Surrey’s award-winning play Bill W. and Dr. Bob, about the founding of Alcoholics Anonymous, ran Off Broadway for a year.
"With Janet Surrey he has also written The Buddha's Wife: A Novel with Commentary, and We Have to Talk: Healing Dialogues between Women and Men." And an essay: Fiction as Resistance. He is an in demand speaker all over the world on "How to Stay Human in Medicine."
Graduating from Harvard and Harvard Medical School, Shem was a Rhodes Scholar with a DPhil in Physiology at Oxford and on the Harvard Medical faculty for decades. Honored as a Visiting Artist/Scholar at The American Academy in Rome, he is an in-demand speaker around the world, and has given over sixty commencement speeches on “How to Stay Human in Medicine.”
Reviews of OUR HOSPITAL
Our Hospital captures the emotions of millions of clinicians who bore witness and served during the COVID pandemic. The uncertainty of how to best treat the disease, the devastation of so much death, the gut-wrenching toll of being the only human at the bedside of dying patients while witnessing their loved ones helplessness, grief and isolation watching this by video conference technology and the effects of unprecedented demand for personal protective supplies and lifesaving medical equipment culminated to create a physically, and emotionally exhausting experience for all clinicians.
Shem reflects on the deep impact of the false sense of hope as the first wave subsides, only for the virus to return once again. The toll of the changing public support and response to caregivers who gave so much to care for others. Shem courageously depicts the impact that conflicting public health information and disinformation, and brilliantly captures the distress care givers experienced—and yet triumphed.
The inclusion of dyad leadership and partnership of physicians and nurses, who focus on patient care, remind us all that such collaboration is how we attain the best for our patients each and every day.
Finally, the thread of patient centeredness, compassion and human caring is woven in throughout the book. The nurses, doctors and others act upon the need to ensure these values remain core to our professional practice as doctors and nurses—and even is refreshing! And the notable Shem-humor comes through.
Blurb by Debra Albert, Chief Nursing Officer , NYU Langone Health