By: Katherine Lewis
Editor’s Note: This is the first in a new series, Health Beyond the Blog, that aims to introduce readers to good health-related content in other media contexts. We will be reviewing books, movies, tv shows, art, and more.
Dr. Mimi Guarneri’s The Heart Speaks: A Cardiologist Reveals the Secret Language of Healing is a powerful narrative which challenges the traditional medical perceptions of the heart as well as the roles of health and illness in one’s life. The book follows the author herself through the end of medical school and into her career as a cardiologist. In medical school, Guarneri was taught to view the heart solely as an anatomical necessity- something that must function in order for life to continue. Over the course of her career, however, Guarneri gradually comes to realize that health is more than a heart which has been stented open to prevent a heart attack. Rather, health is a multi-faceted journey that her patients will experience in varying degrees over the course of their lives. It is as tied to their identity and their emotions as to their biology. Through challenging established medical models which stress efficiency above all else, Guarneri provides insight into the necessity of human compassion in the field of medicine.insight into the necessity of human compassion in the field of medicine.