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  • By Kent Ravenscroft
    Feb 8, 2015
    John Westermeyer, MD, MPH, PhD, Professor of Psychiatry Minnesota: This remarkable book took root in the devastating 2010 Haiti earthquake in Haiti. As a volunteer now, Dr Kent Ravenscroft had gone to Haiti earlier as an anthropologist studying voodoo. By chance, his field study area was the epicenter for the recent 2010 earthquake. Understanding the Haitian world view, he spoke Creole, aiding his conversations with his patients quickly getting to the essence of clinical problems in that exceptional context. The author’s expressed goal in writing this book was to provide an experiential perspective of ‘‘disaster psychiatry’’, taking us along on a journey bounded by destruction and loss, driven by need and exigency, and hampered by logistic challenges, all in a lovely island setting with a unique history. His brisk case vignettes treat loss and stress to those wrought by physical injury, infectious disease, endocrine responses, seizures, and dehydration. Some psychiatric disorders... More > began anew with the earthquake; others had worsened, long disabled- but stable people bereft of their medications or support systems by the earthquake. His training as a child psychiatrist imparts an element lacking in many resources on disaster psychiatry. Experience in consultation psychiatry also helped him seek out strengths in his patients’ characters and in their social networks, and his clinical acumen serves us well in demonstrating how dynamic clinical understanding trumps prescription writing as a key requirement for disaster psychiatry. He displayed theatrical prowess in recruiting neighbors as healing agents, transforming their anxious teasing to empathetic understanding. Prescribing medications deftly and briefly, he put the pharmacology button on fast-forward and chased down brain imaging equipment when called for. Often, he played the teacher-coach, instructing patients on how to control and abate their symptoms and how they might help others with similar problems. In numerous cases, especially the life-threatening or the uncertain ones, he arranged instructive followup visits for us on a later day. in his journal. Although modest in his presentation, Dr His ministrations are enlightened, effective, and humane--and some brilliant. Perhaps, most importantly to Haiti, he was able to model his interventions to his Haitian colleagues and trainees, who trusted him even when they initially expressed doubts about his explanatory models and therapeutic tactics.< Less
  • By Steve Epstein
    Apr 20, 2012
    A moving and stimulating first person account of the experience of a disaster psychiatrist in Haiti soon after the 2010 earthquake.
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Product Details

Publisher 2011
February 20, 2012
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.71 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
Product ID
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