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God's hotel : a doctor, a hospital, and a pilgrimage to the heart of medicine

by Sweet, Victoria.

Format: Print Book 2012
Availability: Available at 10 Libraries 11 of 11 copies
Available (11)
Location Collection Call #
Baldwin Borough Library Biography and Memoir 610.92 SWE
Location  Baldwin Borough Library
Collection  Biography and Memoir
Call Number  610.92 SWE
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction R154.S925 A3 2012
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  R154.S925 A3 2012
CLP - Squirrel Hill Non-Fiction Collection R154.S925 A3 2012
Location  CLP - Squirrel Hill
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  R154.S925 A3 2012
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Biography 92 SWE
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  92 SWE
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 610.92 Swe
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  610.92 Swe
Northern Tier Regional Library Health HEALTH 610.92 SWEET
Location  Northern Tier Regional Library
Collection  Health
Call Number  HEALTH 610.92 SWEET
Northland Public Library Nonfiction 610.92 SW3
Location  Northland Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  610.92 SW3
Penn Hills Library Non-Fiction 610.92 SWE
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  610.92 SWE
Pleasant Hills Public Library Nonfiction 92 SWEET Victoria
Location  Pleasant Hills Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction
Call Number  92 SWEET Victoria
Sewickley Public Library Biography B SWEET 2012
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B SWEET 2012
Sewickley Public Library Biography B SWEET 2012
Location  Sewickley Public Library
Collection  Biography
Call Number  B SWEET 2012
For readers of Paul Kalanithi's When Breath Becomes Air,  a medical "page-turner" that traces one doctor's "remarkable journey to the essence of medicine" ( The San Francisco Chronicle ). 

San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country, a descendant of the H#65533;tel-Dieu (God's hotel) that cared for the sick in the Middle Ages. Ballet dancers and rock musicians, professors and thieves--"anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times" and needed extended medical care--ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years.
     Laguna Honda, relatively low-tech but human-paced, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. Gradually, the place transformed the way she understood her work. Alongside the modern view of the body as a machine to be fixed, her extraordinary patients evoked an older idea, of the body as a garden to be tended. God's Hotel tells their story and the story of the hospital itself, which, as efficiency experts, politicians, and architects descended, determined to turn it into a modern "health care facility," revealed its own surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for the body and the soul.
First years
The love of her life
The visit of Dee and Tee, health-care efficiency experts
The miraculous healing of Terry Becker
Slow medicine
Dr. Diet, Dr. Quiet, and Dr. Merryman
Dancing to the tune of Glen Miller
Wedding at Cana
How I fell in love
It's a wonderful country
Recalled to life
The spirit of God's hotel.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Medical doctor Sweet's search for a position that would allow her to practice while earning a doctorate in the history of medicine brought her to Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, the last almshouse for the poor and chronically disabled in America. Old-fashioned and plain, dilapidated and imperiled, its six spacious, many-windowed wings housing 1,178 patients were surrounded by 60 acres on a hilltop with an ocean view. Here Sweet came to profoundly appreciate and learn from resilient patients who survived poverty, addiction, abuse, and severe maladies. She also immersed herself in the writings of the brilliant twelfth-century German mystic and medical practitioner Hildegard of Bingen, conducting extensive research in Europe, and making the famous medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. Sweet's diverse experiences engendered her commitment to what she calls slow medicine. Meanwhile, Laguna Honda came under siege, threatened first with burdensome bureaucracy, then with closure. But voter support led, instead, to a new building. Sweet's watershed book ambushes and transforms you with its visionary middle way between the irreplaceable skills of doctors and the benefits of holistic medical knowledge and twenty-first-century technology and standards. Vital, exquisitely written, and spectacularly multidimensional, Sweet's clinically exacting, psychologically discerning, practical, spiritual, and tenderly funny anecdotal chronicle steers the politicized debate over health care back to medicine and compassion.--Seaman, Donna Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "To its staff, San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital was a gift: a place with open wards that provided light, air, and a sense of community for its patients; where the emphasis was on "slow medicine" rather than high-speed computer time. Sweet, a physician at the hospital and a professor of medicine at UC-San Francisco, says Laguna Honda's model was the medieval French hotel-Dieu-God's hotel-which cared for everyone who couldn't care for themselves. But this unusual model led to problems in an age of cost-efficient medicine, and to complaints and a Department of Justice investigation . Sweet chronicles the internal politics and struggles behind the remarkable turnaround of this unusual hospital-one where she was "able to practice medicine... the way I wanted." But if Laguna Honda felt like a gift to Sweet, the true gift was the courage of her patients, like the addled Mr. Bramwell, who demonstrated through a sweet and skillful dance with his nurses that even in such a patient, the soul, what the ancients called the "anima," remains. Sweet's tales of her hospital, patients, colleagues, and herself offer a fresh linking of medicine past and present. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Sweet, Victoria.
Laguna Honda Hospital -- History.
Physicians -- United States -- Biography.
Hospital care -- California -- San Francisco -- Anecdotes.
Publisher New York :Riverhead Books,2012
Language English
Description 372 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
ISBN 9781594488436 (hardback)
1594488436 (hardback)
Other Classic View