The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science
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The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science


Essential, required reading for doctors and patients alike: A Pulitzer Prize-winning author and one of the world’s premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little-known principles that govern medicine—and how understanding these principles can empower us all.

Over a decade ago, when Siddhartha Mukherjee was a young, exhausted, and isolated medical resident, he discovered a book that would forever change the way he understood the medical profession. The book, The Youngest Science, forced Dr. Mukherjee to ask himself an urgent, fundamental question: Is medicine a “science”? Sciences must have laws—statements of truth based on repeated experiments that describe some universal attribute of nature. But does medicine have laws like other sciences?

Dr. Mukherjee has spent his career pondering this question—a question that would ultimately produce some of most serious thinking he would do around the tenets of his discipline—culminating in The Laws of Medicine. In this important treatise, he investigates the most perplexing and illuminating cases of his career that ultimately led him to identify the three key principles that govern medicine.

Brimming with fascinating historical details and modern medical wonders, this important book is a fascinating glimpse into the struggles and Eureka! moments that people outside of the medical profession rarely see. Written with Dr. Mukherjee’s signature eloquence and passionate prose, The Laws of Medicine is a critical read, not just for those in the medical profession, but for everyone who is moved to better understand how their health and well-being is being treated. Ultimately, this book lays the groundwork for a new way of understanding medicine, now and into the future.

Title:The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:96 pages

    The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science Reviews

  • Petra Eggs
    Jan 18, 2017

    This is a very short book, but deep. It makes you reflect on the practice of medicine and how it might affect you if you had to make decisions for yourself or another. The first law of medicine, accor...

  • Diane S ?
    Oct 13, 2015

    How does the saying go? Sometimes big things come in little packages. Which certainly proved true with this book. A TED talk on medicine by the noted cancer physician. Unfortunately I have had more th...

  • Cheryl
    Sep 14, 2015

    Law One: A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.Law Two: "Normals" teach us rules; "outliers" teach us laws.Law Three: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human...

  • Steve
    Oct 13, 2015

    This is a very short book and makes for a quick and easy read. It gives color and light to the concept of priors in Bayes theorem. And also reviews a bit more about Bayesian reasoning. The author poin...

  • Blair
    Oct 02, 2015

    The Spaces Between the FactsSiddhartha Mukherjee is not only a prominent cancer specialist, he is also the author of the beautifully written (but long) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Canc...

  • Karishma
    Aug 07, 2016

    Siddhartha Mukherjee is a wonderful teacher and a truly great science writer. I recently became a fan as I started to get halfway through his masterpiece book The Emperor of All Maladies. I'm still ye...

  • Brad Isaacs
    Oct 14, 2015

    There is no doubt Mukherjee is an incredible writer. However, there were many times while reading this short book I wish it were a lot longer and more in depth. His description of Bayes' Theorem, and ...

  • Akshay S Dinesh
    Sep 29, 2015

    I pre-ordered the book because Siddhartha Mukherjee's Emperor of All Maladies is my all time favorite and the description of why there should be "laws" in medicine fascinated me.The only disappointmen...

  • Alfred Haplo
    Jan 23, 2017

    The Laws of Medicine is a little book with a big impression. It highlights the conundrums of “laws” governing established medical science versus medical-science-in-progress. As a young intern, the...

  • Annie
    Sep 24, 2015

    I suspect that the vast majority of us know very little about how one becomes a doctor that hasn’t been informed by TV shows. We expect doctors to diagnose like Dr. House or care for us like Dr. Dor...

About Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee

Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher. He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center. A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School. He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and The New