Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat by David DosaThis isnt a review, its a resolution:
I DID finish this book.
It was hard going.
Im such a cat person I couldnt resist the title, but in fact the book isnt about a cat at all. The title is just a hook to get cat lovers like me to part with $$$ hoping we might understand something more about the totally mysterious thought processes of a cat.
What the book is about is Dr Dosa who isnt very interesting. Hes married with kids and has non-disabling arthritis. Hes very ordinary but nice, Id like him for my GP. The book is really about his job which is treating Alzheimers patients in a nursing home. The cat, not a friendly creature, knows when people are dying and goes to sit with them. We dont know any more about Oscar and anyway the book isnt about him and an investigation into how Oscar gains this knowledge that beats even medical technologys ability to predict death.
The book might have been a lot more interesting if I hadnt just finished Atul Gawandes Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End which is about the options for end-care mostly in old people and especially Alzheimers and explains, among other things, how the model of the nursing home with cats (and dogs and birds) that is where Dr Dosa and Oscar came to be. Atul Gawande is a wonderful writer, David Dosa just writes serviceable prose and then again Gawande is a more interesting person and goes into his subject very thoroughly leaving you much to think over and regretting the book is so short. Its always the same with Gawandes books, you want more. Its rather the opposite for Dosas Making Rounds with Oscar, less would have been greatly appreciated.
I WILL finish this book
Making Rounds with Oscar: The Extraordinary Gift of an Ordinary Cat
By Post Staff Report. Dosa, 37, a geriatrician and professor at Brown University, works on the third floor of the Steere House, which treats patients with severe dementia. He once feared that families would be horrified by the furry grim reaper, especially after Dosa made Oscar famous in a essay in the New England Journal of Medicine. Instead, he says many caregivers consider Oscar a comforting presence, and some have praised him in newspaper death notices and eulogies. The nursing home adopted Oscar, a medium-haired cat with a gray-and-brown back and white belly, in because its staff thinks pets make the Steere House a home.
David Dosa is a geriatrician with patients here at Steere House. His book follows the publication of an essay which appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, garnering global media attention even then! The essay shared the story of Oscar and his extraordinary gift to instinctively sense when end of life is near. With his behavior, Oscar has helped to provide comfort and companionship when people have needed it most. Described on Dr.
In a issue of the New England Journal of Medicine , amid the usual fare of the latest and greatest in biomedical research, there appeared a short piece about a cat named Oscar 1. Living as a pet in a nursing home dementia unit, Oscar demonstrated an uncanny ability to predict which of its residents were about to die. The furry creature's presence at a person's bedside invariably signaled that life's end was near. The story generated a good deal of interest, earning the feline 15 minutes of fame. Now, years later, a book entitled Making Rounds with Oscar chronicles a doctor's discovery of the animal's special gift. He begins the book by explaining why he made the unusual choice to specialize in care for the elderly. I call his career decision unusual because gerontology remains among the least popular fields of practice for medical students to enter.
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But Dr. Oscar was adopted as a kitten from an animal shelter to be raised as a therapy cat at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, Rhode Island, which cares for people with severe dementia and in the final stages of various illnesses. When Oscar was about six months old the staff noticed that he would curl up to sleep with patients who were about to die. Dosa recounts one instance when staff was convinced of the imminent death of one patient but Oscar refused to sit with that person, choosing instead to be on the bed of another patient down the hallway. Oscar proved to be right. The person he sat with died first, taking staff on the ward by surprise.