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About Rana Awdish
After suffering a sudden critical illness herself, she has special interest in improving empathy through connection and communication. She lectures to physicians, health care leaders and medical schools across the country. She was awarded the Speak-Up Hero award in 2014 for her work establishing a workshop based program called CLEAR (Connect, Listen, Emphasize, Align, Respect), which trains faculty and trainees in relationship-based communication skills utilizing improvisational actors. She was named Henry Ford Hospital's Critical Care Teacher of the Year in 2016. She was awarded the Compassionate Caregiver of the Year award by the Schwartz Center for Compassionate Healthcare in 2017 and was named Physician of the Year by Press Ganey that same year. She has been featured in the Times, the Telegraph, the Daily Mail, the BBC, the Guardian, NPR and the Washington Post. Her New England Journal of Medicine Perspectives article, A View from the Edge, went viral garnering over 100,000 views and is ranked in the 99th percentile for reach.
She lives in Michigan with her husband Randy, their son Walt, a very old tabby cat named Lexy and a baby Ragdoll kitten named Delphine. Her hobbies include Ashtanga yoga, cooking and oil painting.
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A riveting first-hand account of a physician who's suddenly a dying patient, In Shock "searches for a glimmer of hope in life’s darkest moments, and finds it.” —The Washington Post
Dr. Rana Awdish never imagined that an emergency trip to the hospital would result in hemorrhaging nearly all of her blood volume and losing her unborn first child. But after her first visit, Dr. Awdish spent months fighting for her life, enduring consecutive major surgeries and experiencing multiple overlapping organ failures. At each step of the recovery process, Awdish was faced with something even more unexpected: repeated cavalier behavior from her fellow physicians—indifference following human loss, disregard for anguish and suffering, and an exacting emotional distance.
Hauntingly perceptive and beautifully written, In Shock allows the reader to transform alongside Awidsh and watch what she discovers in our carefully-cultivated, yet often misguided, standard of care. Awdish comes to understand the fatal flaws in her profession and in her own past actions as a physician while achieving, through unflinching presence, a crystalline vision of a new and better possibility for us all.
As Dr. Awdish finds herself up against the same self-protective partitions she was trained to construct as a medical student and physician, she artfully illuminates the dysfunction of disconnection. Shatteringly personal, and yet wholly universal, she offers a brave road map for anyone navigating illness while presenting physicians with a new paradigm and rationale for embracing the emotional bond between doctor and patient.