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by James Forrester
A scientific memoir/biography of the significant achievements of heart doctors through the years. Forrester (Medicine/UCLA) is the former chief of the division of cardiology at Cedars-Sinai and a recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the American College of Cardiology, so he is more than qualified to tell this story. Open-heart surgery, the first of the advances he chronicles in the readable, accessible narrative, occurred in 1944. ... Another major milestone, writes Forrester, was the introduction of “coronary artery bypass graft surgery” in 1967. It dramatically reduced angina (pain indicative of a potential heart attack), but as one of his students discovered, it was the suddenness of an occlusion, not gradual blockage, that caused a heart attack. Throughout the book, the author achieves a nice balance of memoir and scientific history.
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