Fans of hit medical dramas such as The Good Doctor and House MD will savor the opportunity to read of the real-life cases that puzzled doctors, the gripping detective work that ensued, and the completely unexpected, often life-saving diagnoses.“Vital Signs,” a popular column featured in Discover Magazine, has long been a favorite of readers, showcasing, each month, fascinating new tales of strange illnesses and diseases that baffle doctors and elude diagnosis. Each tale is true and borders on the unbelievable. It’s no wonder that throughout the years the column has become an unofficial textbook for medical students, interns, doctors, and anyone interested in human illness and staying healthy.
Now, physician and “Vital Signs” editor Robert Norman has compiled the very best of the series into an intriguing and suspenseful collection for fans and new readers alike. A young woman carries a baby that wasn’t her own—and wasn’t even a human; Aretha Franklin gives a physician the insight needed to save a life; a modern gynecologist faces an ancient disease. These cases and more, representing a wide variety of unique medical anomalies and life-or-death situations, bring readers to the front lines of the medical fray.
Discover Magazine’s Vital Signs is a glimpse into the exciting work of real medical professionals, told from their perspective, and revealing that anything can happen in medicine. Readers will never look at a “routine check-up” the same again.
"The 40 of the best medical case studies from Discover Magazine's most popular column reveal wide-ranging medical symptoms that defy common diagnosis. Each case is written and researched with expertise by a medical specialist, but accessible and lively language make the main appeal a general readership. Cases include those of autoimmune disorders such as the woman whose skin was falling off as a result of a drug reaction, and the brain injuries of a former fighter pilot, a patient with mild epileptic seizures, and a child "with headaches and vision problems." In one of the more memorable columns the unexplained death of a 35 year-old male is ultimately traced to metal toxicity from inhaling fumes from heating mercury while extracting gold and silver from old dental fillings to pursue personal wealth. These widely diverse studies of real individuals reveal the complexity of the human body and the constant challenges, frustrations, and limitations medical professionals face. Though these medical mysteries may entice like a real-life episode of House, this is not one for the faint of heart or for hypochondriacs." —Publishers Weekly