Puswhisperer: A Year in the Life of an Infectious Disease Doctor

by Mark Crislip
rrp $8.90

Publisher: Bitingduck Press

Series: Puswhisperer

Publication Date: March 05, 2017

ISBN: 9781938463631

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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H1N1. Staph aureus. Traveler's diarrhea. All examples of human interaction with the microbial world, which counts viruses, bacteria, and parasites too numerous to mention. Infectious Disease doctor Mark Crislip has a strange relationship with this world-he spends most of his time trying to kill it, even as he appreciates the vital role microorganisms play in the Earth's ecosystems.

Puswhisperer is a collection of infectious disease anecdotes created from a year's worth of clinical blog posts from the Medscape blog Rubor, Dolor, Calor, Tumor. Originally intended for residents and fellows, the posts have been compiled, edited, and revised for a non-specialist audience. The tales cover a wide range of diagnostic dilemmas and treatment quandaries. Which infection smells like buttered popcorn? Are some antibiotics 'stronger' than others? Is it OK to eat the oysters?

Along with clinical insight, the book provides a good dose of humor and insightful, microbe-centered philosophy. The author speculates on what the Earth might look like in five billion years, when animals and plants are gone, but bacteria remain. He also draws attention to the staggering rate of evolution in bacteria, made possible by short generation times and passing of genetic material from one bug to another. Finding a 60-year-old Staph strain in an old wound, Crislip tells us, is like looking out your window and seeing a Neanderthal shuffle by.

Recommended for anyone interested in infectious disease and the microorganisms that run our planet.