If you enjoy the television series House or are just intrigued by medical anecdotes, The Man with the Iron Tattoo provides stories to enlighten and entertain, as well as to show how the cases impacted these doctors’ lives. Dr. John Castaldo and Dr. Lawrence Levitt have been practicing neurologists for over twenty years. This book takes us back through their training, early years of practice, and up to present day with interesting cases and learning opportunities they have experienced. These aren’t just intriguing and cut-and-dried case studies; each story has a message that the doctor learned and has carried through into
his life and work.
Among the numerous stories are ones about:
These doctors handle their cases with heart and a determination to get to the bottom of any problem, large or small. They also show how they stick with a situation to its conclusion, no matter how hopeless it may seem. These are compassionate men I would be glad to call my own doctor.
- Levitt’s experiences with discouragement in his internship and the doctor
who inspired and pushed him to continue
- Castaldo’s learning about the power of animals and their impact on health care
- and even diagnosis - in a special case involving a Blue Heeler and his owner
- Different anecdotes about how medicine has touched each man’s family—whether through an auto accident involving one’s son, or a medical mystery involving one’s wife’s grandmother
- Castaldo treats a high school athlete who is suffering from multiple concussions and may be using steroids
My one complaint about the book is that it’s difficult to tell two things in each story without being a bit of a detective. One, it takes awhile to know which physician is narrating. It takes some deciphering of clues (wife’s name, another person calling them by name in the story) to figure out who is telling the story. Two, the stories aren’t told in any chronological order, so trying to determine what year the story is occurring in is again left to drawing clues from a story (the medical tests and
such available). Neither of these things is terribly distracting, but it would help for clarity to know the answers.
Otherwise, this collection of stories is fascinating and those who enjoy medical stories and mysteries will really enjoy The Man with the Iron Tattoo. The authors communicate clearly and with heart. The reader will come away from this experience with a sense of contentment knowing that these men, and many other physicians like them, exist in the world.