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Mind That Child: A Medical Memoir

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An unforgettable, insightful and deeply humane memoir from a New Zealand paediatrician who has committed his life to the care and wellbeing of young people. ‘There is always a baby for whom you can feel happy at what they have achieved, or sad when things go wrong. There are always parents to help through an incredible journey . . . I am, I know, a very lucky man.’ Leading p An unforgettable, insightful and deeply humane memoir from a New Zealand paediatrician who has committed his life to the care and wellbeing of young people. ‘There is always a baby for whom you can feel happy at what they have achieved, or sad when things go wrong. There are always parents to help through an incredible journey . . . I am, I know, a very lucky man.’ Leading paediatrician Dr Simon Rowley has committed almost all of his working life to the care and wellbeing of children. In Mind That Child, Rowley provides a rare glimpse into what it means to be entrusted with the most precious of responsibilities – a young human life. Charting his decades of medical experience, Rowley touches on an array of issues, from the high-stakes management of tiny pre-term babies to the serious impacts of drugs, alcohol and technology on developing minds. Real-life cases and practical advice are interwoven throughout a candid, compassionate narrative. What’s revealed is a tender and profound portrait of a medical professional at the very centre of what matters – a doctor who always adopts a humane, holistic view and who writes openly about the personal impact of a career in medicine. A must-read for any parent and a wonderful insight into the high-pressure medical world.


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An unforgettable, insightful and deeply humane memoir from a New Zealand paediatrician who has committed his life to the care and wellbeing of young people. ‘There is always a baby for whom you can feel happy at what they have achieved, or sad when things go wrong. There are always parents to help through an incredible journey . . . I am, I know, a very lucky man.’ Leading p An unforgettable, insightful and deeply humane memoir from a New Zealand paediatrician who has committed his life to the care and wellbeing of young people. ‘There is always a baby for whom you can feel happy at what they have achieved, or sad when things go wrong. There are always parents to help through an incredible journey . . . I am, I know, a very lucky man.’ Leading paediatrician Dr Simon Rowley has committed almost all of his working life to the care and wellbeing of children. In Mind That Child, Rowley provides a rare glimpse into what it means to be entrusted with the most precious of responsibilities – a young human life. Charting his decades of medical experience, Rowley touches on an array of issues, from the high-stakes management of tiny pre-term babies to the serious impacts of drugs, alcohol and technology on developing minds. Real-life cases and practical advice are interwoven throughout a candid, compassionate narrative. What’s revealed is a tender and profound portrait of a medical professional at the very centre of what matters – a doctor who always adopts a humane, holistic view and who writes openly about the personal impact of a career in medicine. A must-read for any parent and a wonderful insight into the high-pressure medical world.

30 review for Mind That Child: A Medical Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    A really interesting memoir by a leading New Zealand paediatrician, that I found to be a valuable read. I enjoyed his insights into the aspects of medical care he practices especially the complicated cases of extremely premature babies they encounter, the incredible things they can do to help the baby and how the question of whether they should be doing these things (which varies depending on each individual of course) comes into play. There are many rather inspiring stories and also grueling on A really interesting memoir by a leading New Zealand paediatrician, that I found to be a valuable read. I enjoyed his insights into the aspects of medical care he practices especially the complicated cases of extremely premature babies they encounter, the incredible things they can do to help the baby and how the question of whether they should be doing these things (which varies depending on each individual of course) comes into play. There are many rather inspiring stories and also grueling ones - often of course it's a bit of both. It's a career I could never imagine having, but I really admire the people who do, who dedicate themselves to helping people. As someone who has benefited greatly in my life from medical intervention/care, I am consistently grateful to the people who have been there to provide it, and it's nice to read a book that shows some of it from their perspective.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Julie

    I am a bit of a sucker for a medical memoir, and this one comes from NZ Dr Simon Rowley, a Consultant Pediatrician working in Auckland,New Zealand. This one works well, combining stories about his own upbringing, his education, marriage and role as a father with stories of his patients and families. He comes across as the type of doctor that we should admire, knowledgeable, sensible and open to learning from the families that he looks after.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Miz

    This was a good, NZ read, with a bunch of background for Braintrust. There is a vast amount of privilege too so there were a few parts I shuddered at his language (which took off a star) but it was really interesting to talk about how medicine has changed especially with NZ developments.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sue Hopkins

    A lovely light read into a fascinating and very important issue. Following the story of Dr Simon Rowley - paediatrician, it talks about how to care for children, what are some of the common issues today and gives a lot of stories to illustrate the point. It’s well written, pretty basic but easy to understand. The author obviously has a genuine love of his job along with the babies and parents. It’s what I call a warm fuzzy story. It’s lighthearted and well meaning, and you get a genuine feel of A lovely light read into a fascinating and very important issue. Following the story of Dr Simon Rowley - paediatrician, it talks about how to care for children, what are some of the common issues today and gives a lot of stories to illustrate the point. It’s well written, pretty basic but easy to understand. The author obviously has a genuine love of his job along with the babies and parents. It’s what I call a warm fuzzy story. It’s lighthearted and well meaning, and you get a genuine feel of warmth from the author.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Mackie

    An excellent overview of Dr Rowley's training and involvement with neonatal care, the Brainwave Trust, NICU babies and their families. Very conversational, readable style. Also looked at attachement, ASD, ADHD etc. An excellent overview of Dr Rowley's training and involvement with neonatal care, the Brainwave Trust, NICU babies and their families. Very conversational, readable style. Also looked at attachement, ASD, ADHD etc.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Julia

    Informative and moving, all while being incredibly easy to read. Personally also loved it's relevance to NZ and being able to recognise certain names and places :) Informative and moving, all while being incredibly easy to read. Personally also loved it's relevance to NZ and being able to recognise certain names and places :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Deyara

    Enjoyable read, very accessible and interesting.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca jones

    What an amazing man. He has done so much for medicine in nz. I felt exhausted just reading about all his work! A really good insight into our healthcare system and I loved all the personal stories about the babies he has cared for. He was there on hand when my twins were born early 13 years ago, we spent 8 weeks in NICU so I could really relate to this.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jophilps1954

    This book is an amazing insight into our national health and culture. Written with great empathy and years of experience and knowledge by a wonderful paediatrician . There were so many things he discussed/ mentioned that I totally agreed with . A must read for anyone with children / grandchildren/sons or daughters .

  10. 5 out of 5

    April Greenlaw Chang

    An easy and pleasurable read offering insight into the front line of paediatrics, including the country's tiniest premature newborns. But there's more - even some guerrilla gardening - from a thoughtful practitioner that we are lucky to have in NZ. An easy and pleasurable read offering insight into the front line of paediatrics, including the country's tiniest premature newborns. But there's more - even some guerrilla gardening - from a thoughtful practitioner that we are lucky to have in NZ.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Deborah

    Very readable; an interesting and sometimes emotional read. Dr Simon Rowley is truly an inspirational, dedicated specialist who has contributed so much to child health in our country.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cherie Cawdron

    I picked this memoir up at the post shop at Auckland Hospital and was interested to read about life in the NICU and hospital from the point of view of a paediatrician - particularly one who worked in a hospital where our son had spent considerable time in the PICU. Although personally not known to me, the stories included were very close to home. The memoir included elements of describing what life working in an extremely stressful hospital environment is like, a slight political agenda, a plug I picked this memoir up at the post shop at Auckland Hospital and was interested to read about life in the NICU and hospital from the point of view of a paediatrician - particularly one who worked in a hospital where our son had spent considerable time in the PICU. Although personally not known to me, the stories included were very close to home. The memoir included elements of describing what life working in an extremely stressful hospital environment is like, a slight political agenda, a plug for the brainwave trust and then musings mixed with statistics about the effects of poverty on health and its impacts on society. This was interspersed with stories of the authors own journey of traveling and working overseas, which seemed surplus to the real reason I picked up this book. In the end I couldn't help feeling that the tone was just a little patronising and I was left wondering exactly what the motivation for the memoir was. Perhaps I wanted the memoir to give me more of an insight into the feelings and emotions of a pediatrician.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah McLean-Orsborn

    Great book!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Megan S

    As a sonographer in New Zealand this book felt completely recognizable as “my world”. I loved his insights and his stories of his career. This book is one of my favourites this year!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Deb

    Interesting read. Made me cry in places.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Janesbuchanan

    I like the occasional medical insight from a professional. Well written.

  17. 5 out of 5

    A-J Motu'Apuaka

    Really enjoyed this book, what an eye opener for the changes over the decades.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kellie Stickney

    Could. Not. Put. Down.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Apteryx

    I'm glad I read it. I'm glad I read it.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ira Perkins

    4.5 stars. Great book for an NZ doctoring experience. My partner (a paediatrician who was examined by Simon) recommended this to me, and im grateful to Simon for giving me a good view of what she does during her day to day.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kathryn

    My view is perhaps a little biased, but the work of the doctors and staff at Starship is incredible, and this well-written book manages to convey the complexities of being a paediatric doctor in our national children's hospital in a way that is engaging and honest. My view is perhaps a little biased, but the work of the doctors and staff at Starship is incredible, and this well-written book manages to convey the complexities of being a paediatric doctor in our national children's hospital in a way that is engaging and honest.

  22. 5 out of 5

    nelle

    Just amazing such a heartwaeming and brilliant read! Seriously a fantastic book. It's good to know that there are such wonderful and passionate Drs still out there caring for our babies. Thank you. Just amazing such a heartwaeming and brilliant read! Seriously a fantastic book. It's good to know that there are such wonderful and passionate Drs still out there caring for our babies. Thank you.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ro Hart

    I think this would be helpful for new parents with premature babies. It was very informative.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anne-Marie

    Loved this memoir. Such a huge contribution he has made & continues to make to medicine in NZ

  25. 4 out of 5

    Alex

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sophia

  27. 4 out of 5

    James Human

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sammy Lee

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

  30. 5 out of 5

    Bridget Irving

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