Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Health & Fitness Health Care Issues

Dissident Doctor

Catching Babies and Challenging the Medical Status Quo

by (author) Michael C. Klein

Publisher
Douglas & McIntyre
Initial publish date
Sep 2018
Category
Health Care Issues, Women's Health, Pregnancy & Childbirth
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781771621922
    Publish Date
    Sep 2018
    List Price
    $32.95

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Description

How often do you hear a doctor saying doctors need to be more accountable, Medicare needs more support and family medicine deserves more respect? Dissident Doctor bristles with refreshingly frank criticisms from inside the health sector, and its author is not just any doctor but a distinguished scientific researcher, veteran medical administrator, Professor Emeritus, recipient of the Order of Canada and lifelong gadfly.

In Dissident Doctor, Michael C. Klein intersperses fascinating tales of individual cases with formative elements of his personal life. As the son of American left-wing activists, he grew up singing folk songs about justice and racial equality; as a young doctor his refusal to serve as a military physician during the Vietnam War prompted his immigration to Canada. His early experience working with midwives in Ethiopia—delivering babies using techniques for natural pain relief and without routine episiotomy—were formative, leading him to question many standard but unjustified procedures in Western maternity care. He made many unconventional decisions as a result of his focus on humane medicine, transitioning from a specialization in pediatrics and newborn care to become a family physician, and embracing midwifery before it was approved in Canada. Klein’s determination in the face of great opposition, the strength of his convictions, and his humility and sense of humour drive this powerful story of a life and career dedicated to his patients and his principles.

About the author

Michael C. Klein is Professor Emeritus of family practice at the University of British Columbia, adjunct professor of family medicine at McGill University and senior scientist emeritus at the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute in Vancouver. He teaches at UBC in family practice and midwifery and is a long-time member of the editorial board of Birth. He was head of a McGill teaching centre and the Department of Family Medicine at a McGill teaching hospital in Montreal for seventeen years, and head of the Department of Family Practice at BC Children’s and Women’s hospitals in Vancouver for ten years. This is his first book.

Michael C. Klein's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Practicing clinicians and family medicine educators alike can find much to appreciate in Dr Klein’s memoir. Dr Klein details a lifelong practice emphasizing continuity, consideration of the family as a whole, and engagement in the community. He shows us that we should see problems clearly and address them directly, but we shouldn’t give up hope that we can effect change. Dr Klein’s significant contributions to medical research and medical literature make him a galvanizing role model for family physicians.... Dr Klein’s story is inspirational.

Family Medicine

“More than anything else, this is a testament to putting human health above conventional wisdom, no matter how supposedly expert. Sure I am biased—he’s my father—but I cannot recommend it highly enough.”

NAOMI KLEIN, AUTHOR OF THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING

“Whether you arrive at the book as a patient, student, teacher, colleague, family member, friend, or simply as a reader, you will come away feeling rewarded by the lifetime of work of this Dissident Doctor.”

The Permanente Journal

“This book is an exciting first-person narrative of an exemplar, an iconoclast who persisted, against all odds, and is still telling the tale. It is a story of triumph over adversity, of opening the door when opportunity knocked and of recognition of evidence as the best rhetoric.”

MURRAY ENKIN, OBSTETRICIAN AND CO-AUTHOR OF A GUIDE TO EFFECTIVE CARE IN PREGNANCY AND CHILDBIRTH

“Michael Klein’s inspiring memoir shows the great impact that one physician with a commitment to social justice and a must-do attitude can have. So many in North America have benefitted from his path-breaking work as clinician, teacher, researcher and administrator. Childbearing women and newborns especially are indebted to Dr. Klein and his passion for high-quality woman- and family-centred maternity care.”

CAROL SAKALA, DIRECTOR OF CHILDBIRTH CONNECTION PROGRAMS AT THE NATIONAL PARTNERSHIP FOR WOMEN & FAMILIES

“[This] wonderful memoir reads as a novel, illustrating elements fundamental to family practice—really any medical practice. Dr. Klein chose to follow the path of science and research to investigate the validity of his insights about birth, leading to profound changes in how we practise.”

VANIA JIMENEZ, FAMILY PHYSICIAN AND AUTHOR OF JE SUIS UNE PIERRE BRÛLANTE

“More than just a book on medicine, it’s a terrific family story...” ~ Charlie Smith, The Georgia Straight, October 18, 2018

The Georgia Straight

“A vividly written, gripping account of a uniquely independent and pioneering career in medicine…”

GABOR MATÉ, PHYSICIAN AND AUTHOR OF IN THE REALM OF HUNGRY GHOSTS

"...an informative and insightful look into the politics, roadblocks and successes in our medical system over the past 50 years." ~ Winnipeg Free Press, September 15, 2018

Winnipeg Free Press

“In this thoughtful memoir Dr. Michael Klein shares both entertaining stories and deep reflections on the patterns and surprises that shaped his journey as a radical physician and citizen. His experiences of medicine on both sides of the Canada–US border and internationally offer a sharp reminder of the importance of universal health care, something we should never take for granted.”

DANIELLE MARTIN, FAMILY PHYSICIAN AND AUTHOR OF BETTER NOW