Edited By Josefa Ros Velasco
12 This Aisle Has More Than Two Sides: Insights into Depression, Provided by Medical Doctors (Angelika Potempa (The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley))
12 This Aisle Has More Than Two Sides: Insights into Depression, Provided by Medical Doctors
The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Memoirs of medical doctors are quite popular; some have even made it on bestseller lists—“Why are memoirs so popular?” (Reisner n.d.; Carr 2014) This is due to various factors, such as, the high social and moral prestige that the medical profession has enjoyed since the 1950s and 1960s (Starr 1982), the readers’ interest in intimate and emotionally engaging stories of how illnesses and losses affect people’s lives, the accomplishments, failures, and challenges that the healers faced in their professional and private lives and the lessons they learned (Zinsser 1987; Barrington 1997), the fact that the medical profession has traditionally belonged to the occupations with very particular fiduciary rules and been very protective of its social, moral, and professional prestige (Gawande 2007; Ruggieri 2012) as well as the storytellers’ desire to validate and “detoxify” their personal lives via writing and to educate their audiences (Broyard 1992, 20–21, 52–55; Nuland 2008, 84–87). That is, the more or less fictitious accounts of medical doctors reflect and partake in the discourses that shape the general public’s attitudes towards the roles of medicine, science, and technologies in our lives as well as with regard to what it means to live a meaningful and enjoyable life in the face of suffering, disability, and death.
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