“What do you do?” is the first thing adults ask each other when we meet. I’m always interested in other people’s professions. This Narrow Space is a doctor’s Memoir; I love memoirs of average non-famous people and this one is especially well written and gripping.
Dr. Waldman shares in an honest and emotional way his thoughts about medicine, patients and hospitals. He talks about his own growth within the field. This Narrow Space: A Pediatric Oncologist, His Jewish, Muslim, and Christian Patients, and a Hospital in Jerusalem (2017) has a long title that doesn’t exactly do the book justice. Dr. Elisha Waldman is a pediatric palliative care specialist who started out as an oncologist. He does a wonderful job educating his readers about palliative medicine. I had all of the misconceptions that he described.
This book is also about the author’s move to Israel, his Zionism and his conflicted feelings about being a doctor at Hadassah Hospital. He also speaks about his young patients who come from many cultures. Each person’s story is heartwrenching. Dr. Waldman explains why he got into such a difficult field and how he is able to keep his own feelings under control.
This is a very satisfying read about: medicine, religion, culture, the doctor-patient relationship, Israeli bureaucracy, and Jewish values. Don’t miss it!