Author:Clifton K. Meador, M.D.



Fascinomas-Fascinating Medical MysteriesFascinomas-Fascinating Medical Mysteries is a collection of thirty-five vignettes describing unusual medical cases, cases which defied resolution by tests. Their solution depended largely on doctor-patient communication and in fact, the main theme of the book is the need for this effective interchange. These days, between insurance companies and Medicare exerting downward pressure on fees and the medical fraternity’s appetite for wealth, patient visits frequently consist of a few minutes of conversation and a call for a battery of tests. This book is a plea to resurrect the use of verbal investigation and patient feedback.

In this sense, Fascinomas-Fascinating Medical Mysteries is aimed at doctors as much as it is the public. Those long, unpronounceable words often creep into case descriptions. Fortunately, their meaning is included for the layman and each story is fully understandable by every reader. Self-mutilators and hypochondriacs will find new avenues to explore in some of the chapters. Even a thwarted attempted murder enters the picture. All of the cases described actually occurred. Human nature being what it is, no fictionalization was needed.

While these stories are fascinating to doctors and those interested in medical curiosities, they may be less so to avid viewers of the “House” television series. Nevertheless, their uniqueness and Dr. Meador’s writing style keeps one reading to the end.

Dr. Meador has a long history of practicing and teaching medicine. That experience has made him an advocate of talking to patients and truly listening to what they say. As some of the cases point out, this can as often reveal no physical need for treatment as it does provide a necessary clue to discovering a valid ailment. In many situations, no test could have discovered the patient’s problem. Only doctor awareness of the symptoms could provide the solution. In summary, this book not only advocates communication, it also provides a compendium of these cases for doctors’ education. It should be mandatory reading for interns.

About the Author as Posted on

For over fifty years, Clifton K. Meador M.D.has been practicing and teaching medicine. This, his thirteenth book, complements his published writings and his well-known satiric articles noting the clinical excesses of modern American medicine, including “The Art and Science of Nondisease,” published in the New England Journal of Medicine (1965), “The Last Well Person” also in the New England Journal of Medicine (1994), “A Lament for Invalids” in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA 1992) and “Clinical Man: Homo Clinicus,” published in Pharos (2011). His last book True Medical Detective Stories (2012) was dedicated to Berton Roueche, writer for the New Yorker and creator of the genre of medical detective stories. A graduate of Vanderbilt University in 1955, Dr. Meador has served as executive director of the Meharry Vanderbilt Alliance since 1999, and is a emeritus professor of medicine at both Vanderbilt School of Medicine and Meharry Medical College. Past posts include chief of medicine and chief medical officer of Saint Thomas Hospital (then a major teaching hospital for Vanderbilt) and dean of the University of Alabama School of Medicine. Dr. Meador lives with his wife, Ann, in Nashville. He is the father of seven, and has seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter.

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