"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
“Throughout her career, Dr. MacGregor has witnessed the suffering of her patients, their families, and her colleagues, and these experiences have shaped her personhood. Her storytelling is about mystery and compassion and presence, and she is not afraid to talk about these issues. She shares her great authenticity and generosity of spirit with readers as she takes her own experience and dissects its impact on her learning and maturing as a doctor and a person.”
~ KATHY FOLEY, M.D., Chair of the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and Attending Physician in Neurology; Medical Director, International Palliative Care Initiative, Open Society Foundation
“Betsy MacGregor is a physician who brings x-ray vision into the tension between our growing health technologies and our growing sense of humanity. Are we machines to keep alive or souls to bless on a larger journey? Everyone should read this book before they die – or before someone else they love enters the dying process in today’s medical industry. This is a tender and moving book, filled with grace. You can catch sight of heaven by entering the gripping, raw, and powerful world of Betsy MacGregor – a skilled doctor and compassionate soul who offers insightful and often surprising stories from the edge of existence.”
~ DUANE ELGIN, author of Voluntary Simplicity, The Living Universe, and Awakening Earth
“In Awe of Being Human is a brilliant, inspired work. It is the view of a physician who can marvel at the spectacular ways the human condition displays itself in health and illness. If you can't have Betsy MacGregor as your doctor, do the next best thing: read her magnificent book.”
~ LARRY DOSSEY, M.D., author of The Extraordinary Healing Power of Ordinary Things; Healing Words; Power of Premonitions; Reinventing Medicine
"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
“Betsy was not only our son’s doctor but our family’s partner and counselor, a scientist who helped us manage a variety of serious issues with our newborn child without ever being less than a kind friend. Her gifts as a writer mirror her abilities as a doctor who demystified medical concepts without ever oversimplifying. . . . This was not merely humility, but a rare wisdom that proved enormously significant to our family’s future. Betsy MacGregor personifies the ideal of medicine as a social engagement, a thoroughly modern scientist who is as much a student as a teacher, deeply respectful of the families she worked with and always unfailingly kind . . . and she tells wonderful stories that have a great deal to teach us all.”
~ DANNY and PATTI ABELSON, parents of a young patient
“The becoming of Enso House Hospice had a lot to do with Betsy Daishi MacGregor. Her experiences as a doctor in New York City where she saw many people at the moment they were on the edge of dying, and her astonishment at how bright and shining this was had great meaning in Enso House’s development – a meaning which is beyond measure. I have seen this too, and so this hospice was our mutual vow. I have profound gratitude to her for this.”
~ SHODO HARADA ROSHI, Abbot of Sogenji Monastery, Japan; founder of Tahoma Monastery, WA; co-founder of Enso House Hospice, WA
“Betsy MacGregor has been a wise and compassionate guide for critically ill children and for the dying. The beauty of her soul is reflected in this wonderful exploration of healing and medicine. Don't miss it.”
~ MICHAEL LERNER, Founder of Commonweal, Co-Founder of the Commonweal Cancer Help Program, author of Choices In Healing: Integrating The Best of Conventional and Complementary Approaches to Cancer
“These stories reflect the author’s extraordinary compassion, insight, sensitivity and humility. They are a joy to read – though, like most joys, complemented by great sadness as well. That, after all, is the essence of being human.”
~ ROBERT G. NEWMAN, M.D., Former President and CEO of Beth Israel Medical Center and President Emeritus of Continuum Health Partners, Inc., New York, NY
"Page after page, tears filled my eyes as my heart opened and my spirit soared. Betsy MacGregor is the loving, life-affirming physician all of us want, the wise teacher every doctor needs."
~ JAMES GORDON, M.D., Founder, The Center for Mind Body Medicine, Washington, DC