Book Review: The Doctor in Literature

Johanna Shapiro, PhD

The Doctor in Literature: Satisfaction or Resentment by Solomon Posen, a physician who taught general medicine and endocrinology at Sydney University for 30 years, is intended as a reference text that considers the representations of physicians in literature, “their attitudes and their activities.” The sheer scope of this work deserves acknowledgment. The book reviews approximately 600 works of literature, historical and contemporary, classics and popular fiction, and encompasses a time frame from the ancient G-reeks to contemporary novels. Notably, the book includes not only English language texts, but also pays extensive attention to works from France, Spain, and Germany. Further, this endeavor is conceived as a four volume series, with this volume focusing on doctor-patient interactions, and the others to address various other aspects such as the physician’s personal life, job satisfaction, and the portrayal of different kinds of specialists.

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