Next Book Group Meeting: Friday, April 8th, 7:30 – 8:30

The book for discussion is Samuel Shem’s (aka Stephen Bergman, MD), Mount Misery.  Following in the “tradition” of House of God, Shem shows no hesitancy in his skewering, in this instance, of psychiatry and psychiatrists.  The review in the New England Journal of Medicine was not kind and the New York Times review contains similar criticisms.  The Samuel Shem website (note that it has not been updated recently)  includes biographical information as does a short piece in the Lancet (you will need to be logged into a CHB computer to access this).  Shem wrote an article Fiction as Resistance (again, you  need to be logged into a CHB computer to access this) in Annals of Internal Medicine which more fully explores his motivations as an author.  Mount Misery touches on a multitude of themes: love and death; insurance reimbursement for psychiatric care; adherence to a single therapeutic modality; cruelty; compassion; greed and sexual misconduct (the American Psychiatry Association has extensive resources on this topic).

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