In Awe of Being Human: A Doctor's Stories from the Edge of Life and Death is a physician's reflection on living, healing and dying set amidst the challenging world of hospitals and hospices, the medical professionals who work in them, and the ever-present mystery of life and death. Filled with deeply moving tales of the children and adults who have been the author's patients, together with descriptions of the soul-stretching experiences that doctors and other caregivers undergo in seeking to help people whose lives are at stake, the book delivers a tender and powerfully positive message about what it means to be human.
Gold Medal Award
In Awe of Being Human: A Doctor's Stories from the Edge of Life and Death, received the 2014 Independent Publisher Living Now Book Award, which is "designed to honor the year's best books that help readers attain healthier, more fulfilling and productive lives." The book received a gold medal as one of the "three outstanding books of the year."
Praise for the Book
"I love this book. It is honest and wise and true to the best relationships between doctor and patient as it holds a light to the dark mysteries of hospital and medical care. So many times while reading it, I had to stop and think about how fearful most of us are when we learn we are ill and in need of medical attention. The dread of hospitals. The timidity we feel sitting across from our doctors. The mistrust of a profession that claims to provide utmost assistance to us. By sharing stories of her work with patients in a major New York City hospital, Dr. MacGregor lets us see what is missing far too often in modern health care: patience with our fear, kindness in our despair and worry, compassion as we face odds so daunting we wonder if we will emerge from whatever the experience is, alive. If ever there was a book for our time—a book to make both doctor and patient feel better, and readers, too—this is it."
~ Alice Walker, author of The Color Purple
“In Awe of Being Human is a book of inspiration and renewal. It is impossible to read these beautiful stories without remembering that, at its core, medicine is not a work of science but an act of love.”
~ RACHEL NAOMI REMEN, M.D., author of Kitchen Table Wisdom and My Grandfather’s Blessings
"This extraordinary book reminds us of the preciousness of life and the mystery of death. Written by a clinician whose humanity shines through every word, Dr. MacGregor gives us a view of living, illness, dying and death remarkable in its hopefulness and wisdom."
~ ROSHI JOAN HALIFAX, Founding Abbot, Upaya Zen Center
Excerpt from Review in The Journal of Family Medicine
by Cynthia Haq, MD, Department of Family Medicine University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Dr MacGregor describes unprecedented developments in medical science and technology over the course of her career such as in diagnosis, treatment, management of premature neonates, and in preventing pain. Yet she cautions that when the deceptive lure of technology is coupled with arrogance, tenderness can get pushed out of the picture.
Her tender feelings toward her patients did not seem to wane as she recounted her amazement with the process of birth. She crafted and whispered a personal welcome to each newborn that she examined, “Hello, welcome to this life! May you have a good life, a wonderful life.”
This book is a rich resource for health professionals as well as for lay readers. It is an inspiring introduction for students and residents into the world of healing and the challenging and heroic lives of patients. It is a compelling reminder to seasoned clinicians that life is a miracle, and healing is a privilege. The book provides a glimpse into the soul of an extraordinary physician. It will provide any reader with a better understanding of the joys and pathos of doctoring."