Medicine in Translation

For more than two decades, Dr. Danielle Ofri has cared for patients at Bellevue, the oldest public hospital in the country and a crossroads for the world’s cultures. Ofri helps elucidate how the world of medicine can be a “foreign culture” to all patients, no matter where they’re from. Even if you were born in the United States and speak fluent English, being in the hospital or doctor’s office can feel like you’ve parachuted onto a different planet. The language, culture, dress, and customs are all different. You may have visited other countries while on vacation, but for this type of trip you are usually sick or in pain—not the best situation to be negotiating in a foreign language. In Medicine in Translation Ofri introduces us, in vivid, moving portraits, to her patients, who have braved language barriers, religious and racial divides, and the emotional and practical difficulties of exile in order to access quality health care. Living and dying in the foreign country we call home, they have much to teach us about the American way, in sickness and in health.

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“A gifted storyteller,…Ofri describes how her patients’ histories stirred her to practice medicine more compassionately, inspired her with their hope and fortitude…”

Washington Post

“Timely, beautiful, and heartbreaking…. I shuddered while reading this book, I smiled, and I can’t wait for her next one.”

The Bookworm Sez

“Danielle Ofri’s new work presents the reader with artfully-controlled chaos. …Brisk, fast-paced, and organized with an eye both to variety and recurrence…”

Times Literary Supplement

“The threads of…Medicine in Translation, come together in a fascinating tapestry, with shimmers of what it is to be a physician, a mother, a writer and musician, a person with opinions trying to open herself to a world full of differences.”

Story Circle Book Reviews


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