Healing Children: A Surgeon's Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine (Paperback)

Healing Children: A Surgeon's Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine By Kurt Newman, M.D. Cover Image

Healing Children: A Surgeon's Stories from the Frontiers of Pediatric Medicine (Paperback)


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A National Bestseller

An “astounding and miraculous ” (Madeline Levine) medical memoir by one of our nation’s leading pediatric surgeons-- the visionary head of Children’s National 

Anyone who has seen a child recover from a wound or a broken bone knows that kids are made to heal. Their bodies are more resilient, more adaptive, and far more able to withstand acute stress than adults’. In this inspiring memoir, Dr. Kurt Newman draws from his long experience as a pediatric surgeon working at one of our nation’s top children’s hospitals to make the case that children are more than miniature adults. Through the story of his own career and of the brave kids he has treated over the years—and their equally brave and tenacious parents—he reveals the revolution that is taking place in pediatric medicine.

When he decided to become a pediatric surgeon, the field was in its infancy, struggling for esteem. Now, nearly forty years later, it is at the forefront of exhilarating new discoveries in everything from cancer research to mental health care. But few parents know how to access the best care for their children. Far too many find themselves frustrated and afraid.
Dr. Newman wrote this book to help guide parents—not just of sick kids but of all kids —and to share his knowledge of what children need to thrive. A deeply human story with a spectacular cast of young heroes and heroines, Healing Children will convince you that we still have a lot to learn from our kids.
Kurt Newman, MD, is president and CEO of Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., widely recognized as one of the nation’s best pediatric hospitals. Dr. Newman has been a surgeon at Children’s National for over thirty years and is a professor of surgery and pediatrics at George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. He helped create the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, dedicated to making children’s surgery pain free and less invasive. A strong advocate for the expansion of mental health treatment access for kids, he is actively involved in improving pediatric health nationally through his work on the boards of the Children’s Hospital Association and Safe Kids Worldwide. He and his wife Alison are the parents of two college age sons and live in Bethesda, Maryland.
Product Details ISBN: 9780143110033
ISBN-10: 0143110039
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: July 17th, 2018
Pages: 272
Language: English
“Newman captures the beautiful collegiality of pediatric medicine and the wisdom of parents and of children themselves, as in this description of a young patient with intestinal failure: 'He thought more about his parents’ suffering than his own. As a human being, he put me to shame…' The kids he describes are themselves heroic... Newman, a pediatric surgeon, argues that seriously ill and injured children are better served at pediatric hospitals than at adult hospitals — a claim generally supported by the data showing that kids with bone fractures, brain injury and severe sepsis do best when pediatric specialists manage their care.” – The New York Times

“Kids’ resilience, both physical and emotional, is at the heart of this illuminating and wise book by one of America’s foremost pediatric surgeons.”
--People, "12 Best New Books"

“If you did nothing but read the astounding, miraculous and occasionally crushing stories that Dr. Newman so vividly relates about daily life in a pediatric hospital you would be enthralled by Healing Children.  But there is a bigger truth to this book, a more compelling reason to read it.  And that is to acknowledge not only the courage of young patients and pediatric physicians alike, but to be brought face to face with the many ways that we don’t prioritize children’s health. That with the vast resources of this country, pediatric hospitals are few and far between, pediatricians are generally underpaid and, most of all, research dollars are hard to come by.  Healing Children is an amazing look at the tenacity and courage of kids and doctors under difficult circumstances.  But it is also a cri de coeur for prioritizing the health and well-being of our youngest and often our most vulnerable citizens- our children.”
-- Madeline Levine, Ph.D. author of The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well

“Kurt Newman is passionate about caring for children as children, not just scaled-down versions of adults: advocating for letting parents into recovery rooms, and realizing that to a preteen the prospect of a noticeable scar may be as scary as surgery itself. He’s concerned that seriously ill children are too often treated by specialists with little pediatric experience. And he worries that America’s children are competing for a limited pool of health-care funds with an ever-growing population of seniors and disabled adults…Healing Children makes an emotional case for the importance of 'child-specific' medical treatment. The book is composed of individual, highly detailed stories of mentors, treatments, case studies and especially the young patients themselves, for whose courage and resilience he has boundless admiration.”
– Washington Post

“In this deeply moving and personal book, Kurt Newman shares the inspiring stories of the children he has treated and reveals what he has learned from them. In the tradition of Jerome Groopman and Atul Gawande, he helps us to learn about medical issues while feeling the emotions of real-life situations. Healing Children includes a lot of practical advice for parents, but it is a book for everyone who cares to understand the beauties and mysteries of health.”
--Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of Einstein and Steve Jobs

Healing Children brings Dr. Newman’s interactions with children and families to life while poignantly sharing how they impacted his career, his leadership and his humanism.  As a pediatric emergency physician, I identify with his insights into the lives of children and families. Kurt celebrates children and what they teach us every day in the practice of the noble field of medicine.”
– Karen Remley, MD, MBA, MPH , FAAP, Professor of Pediatrics, Eastern Virginia Medical School   

"As a parent who has seen Dr. Newman at work, both as a surgeon on our young son and as CEO of one of the top children's hospitals in the country, I know this book comes from the heart. It is a great testament to the importance of the doctor-patient relationship and really tells us what families really need to know. With this moving memoir full of personal stories, Dr. Newman illuminates the importance of caring for the youngest among us. We can all learn from that journey."
-- Brett Baier, Chief Political Anchor, Fox News Channel and bestselling author of Special Heart: a Journey of Faith, Hope Courage and Love

"Newman, president and CEO of the highly rated Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., knows how to hook a reader . . . He makes a compelling case for giving more resources to the 'painfully undervalued and underfunded' field of children’s medicine in a society that prioritizes adults and end-of-life care . . . As the nation tries to figure out how best to spend limited health-care dollars, it’s helpful to consider Newman’s strong argument for giving kids a fair share.”
--ALA Booklist 

“With nearly 40 years of experience, Newman, a veteran surgeon, liberally shares a variety of personal stories and case histories from children in his clinical practice. He laments that pediatric medicine is 'painfully undervalued and underfunded' while adult diseases garner the majority of the attention, financial support, and clinical investments within the American medical community. To illustrate the need to re-evaluate how children's medicine is perceived and to reprioritize its importance, the author introduces readers to some of the brave, resilient children he has treated throughout his coming-of-age surgical residencies and his long-standing tenure in pediatric medicine. He also spotlights many pioneering medical professionals who continue to be committed to the betterment of treating and healing ill children... Newman cites heart-rending instances of genetic abnormalities, cancer, severely underweight babies, and overprotective parents, all briskly described yet carrying the emotional weight that accompanies an innocent child enduring a painful health crisis. Written primarily as a guide for parents navigating the unpredictable health of their children, the book also addresses the future of pediatric care, as Newman delves into the most innovative therapies and initiatives in development. As the current CEO of Children's National in Washington, D.C., the author sets forth a convincing argument to place children's medical requirements and their need to thrive well into adulthood at the forefront of American medicine, and he admits that 'these kids have been my real teachers.' …Newman's compassionate approach hits the heart and soul of these unique experiences. A genuine and inspiring chronicle of a doctor fighting the good fight."
--Kirkus Reviews