AfterShock: what to do when the doctor gives you -- or someone you love -- a devastating diagnosis, Jessie Gruman Ph.D.


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Endorsements for AfterShock

Endorsements are from the initial publication of the AfterShock book.

Harold Varmus, MD, President and CEO, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Nobel Prize recipient
Those who must enter the emotionally turbulent world of medical care for a serious illness always want, but often lack, the calming influence of a sensible companion who has been there before. Jessie Gruman's book provides that companionship and will be greatly valued by many facing disturbing diagnoses.

Barbara Walters, ABC News
Jessie Gruman's book is important to have in your home, not just to give you vital information should you get bad news about your own health, but also to help friends and family who may have to cope with all of the issues facing them.

Judy Woodruff, The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer
There comes a moment in all our lives when we get bad news about ourselves or someone we love. Jessie Gruman shows that how we handle the news — and what we do next — can make a huge difference in the life of the person affected. As someone who has been through a shocking episode with a child, I find the book worth reading and — just as important — worth keeping close at hand.

Mary O'Neil Mundinger, DrPH, RN, Dean and Centennial Professor in Health Policy Columbia University School of Nursing
This is a book about life. The poignant stories attest to the enduring value of friends and family — as well as medical professionals — in helping find a path through the painful first shock and wrenching turmoil of a life-changing diagnosis. Everyone can benefit from this book. Don't wait until you think you need it. Read it now.

Tom Brokaw, NBC News
AfterShock is a comprehensive and invaluable guide through the fear and confusion that comes with the news that you or someone close to you has a devastating illness. The plain language and easy to follow instructions make this a "must have" for every family, healthy or otherwise.

Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes, CBS
If someone you love has ever had a frightening diagnosis, they surely could have used Jessie Gruman's book. By assuring you that your initial state of shock is normal, then by guiding you through the ways to make the tough choices, AfterShock helps restore the sense of control you probably lost. A how-to on getting the best care, the book is both reassuring and empowering.

Harvey V. Fineberg, MD, PhD, President, Institute of Medicine
Jessie Gruman knows of what she speaks. If you or a loved one has received a devastating diagnosis, AfterShock sympathetically lays out what to do and how to do it. Jessie Gruman's book is clear, concise, wide-ranging, elegantly composed, richly illustrated by personal reflections, deeply informed, and highly practical. This is a work I will want to share with family and friends.

Betty Rollin, Author, First, You Cry and Here's the Bright Side
Anyone with a scary diagnosis would do him/herself a favor by reading this book without delay. AfterShock is wise, sensitive, practical, readable and helpful in the extreme.

Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation of New York
This is an extraordinary guide based on solid research and depth of expertise. It is infused with clarity, wit, wisdom, compassion and most of all, hope.

Claire Fagin, PhD, RN, Dean Emerita, University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing
Reading this gorgeously written book is both an emotional and intellectual experience. It is a "must have" for anyone touched by a devastating illness either directly or through a loved one. Any health professional not deeply moved by the contents should find another line of work.

John W. Rowe, MD, Executive Chairman of Aetna
When someone close to you is diagnosed with a serious illness, do them a big favor — give them this book. Dr. Gruman has written a compelling and comprehensive guide to making use of the best available evidence to respond to a bad diagnosis.

Jeremiah Barondess, MD, President of the New York Academy of Medicine
For patients and families faced with bad diagnostic news it would be hard to find a more useful and dependable support. Jessie Gruman is wise, practical and authoritative — and she's been there.

Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman and President of The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University; Former U.S. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare
Each of us, or one of our loved ones, is likely to receive a diagnosis of devastating illness. That is why this perceptive, comforting and practical book belongs on every family's shelf."

Louis W. Sullivan, MD, President Emeritus, Morehouse School of Medicine U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 1989-1993
In this period of bewildering complexity in our fragmented health system, Jessie Gruman's book is a quiet, reassuring refuge from the challenge of receiving shocking medical news. This book is empowering to the patient and to his/her family, helping them to become active participants in the planning and the delivery of their health care and health maintenance. AfterShock is an invaluable medical resource and supportive companion.

David Nathan, MD, President Emeritus, Dana Farber Cancer Institute
No doctor can tell you everything you need to know about how to respond to a devastating diagnosis. This unique book can help you make good choices about all the elements of your new and challenging situation. Jessie Gruman is a great friend of seriously ill patients. If you let her help you — she will.

Ruth Katz, PhD, Dean of The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services
This is a terrific book. It is thoughtful, honest and readable — a real how-to guide on facing and coping with the "aftershock" of a life-threatening diagnosis. I have no doubt that Aftershock will be enormously helpful to many, many people.

Martha N. Hill, PhD, RN, Dean of The Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing
This is a splendid example of turning one's recurrent frightening situation into a positive gift for others. I think the book will be most helpful to people who seek more information. They will be able to return to the book repeatedly as their need for different information and their readiness to use it change as they adapt to their devastating diagnosis. This book, like its characterization of many nurses, is "pure gold".

Allan Dietrich, MD, Professor of Family Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School
Dr. Gruman provides people and families facing life changed diagnoses with a major new resource. The appendices are pure gold, bringing together information and resources that will enhance the quality of their care and their lives.

Kenneth L. Davis, MD, President and CEO, Mount Sinai Medical Center
The medical community owes Dr. Gruman a huge thanks for writing this courageous book. Anyone confronting some of the frightening diseases that it is our great misfortune to suffer can be comforted and guided by this wonderful volume.

Arthur H. Rubenstein, MBBCh, Executive Vice President, University of Pennsylvania Health System
This is a wonderful book. It is full of practical advice, common sense and remarkable insights for a patient diagnosed with a serious disease. I found myself agreeing with Dr. Gruman on every important point. Not only will this book be invaluable for patients and their families, but I believe physicians and medical students would gain tremendously from reading it as well. It is the best book I have read dealing with this issue.

Aaron T. Beck, MD, University Professor of Psychiatry, University of Pennsylvania Lasker Prize recipient
The discovery of a medical problem causes a crisis not only for the patient but also for the family. The author, having been through these unsettling problems several times and shown remarkable resilience, lays out practical suggestions on what to do and also how to relieve the stress.

Mary Woolley, President, Research ! America
In this book, as in her personal life and in her distinguished career, Jessie Gruman deals with the most profound challenges to health. She shares her own experience and that of many others whom she has interviewed, as she suggests very practical ways to cope with the truth of a devastating diagnosis. She explains how to identify truthful resources; how to overcome feelings of powerlessness and recharge one's personal strength.

George E. Thibault, MD, Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Clinical Affairs, Partners HealthCare System
This is a wise and compassionate book. It should be recommended reading for all patients facing difficult medical decisions. It also should be recommended reading for Medical Students and Doctors in Training.

Robert M. Butler, MD, President and CEO, International Longevity Center, USA
After the shock of a devastating diagnosis comes the aftershock, when a person must learn the topography of a strange and frightening terrain. Written with unpretentious authority, AfterShock is a humane and immensely important book about coping with a catastrophic illness.

Jimmie C. Holland, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center
AfterShock is an amazing guide for the overwhelmed person or family member asking "What do I do next?" It is filled with practical advice which is mixed — in a most pleasantly readable style — with the observations of someone who has "been there — done that" but who also knows the psychological terrain of illness. Gruman recognized the gap in information for this period and has filled it beautifully.

Kathleen Hall Jamison, Director, Annenberg Policy Center, University of Pennsylvania
Jessie Gruman's book is a survival guide anyone with a frightening diagnosis can turn to for comfort and for concrete ways of increasing the odds of getting the best care and the brightest outcome

Geoffrey Cowan, Dean, USC Annenberg School for Communication
No matter how much we know about science, medicine, religion or life, few of us are prepared when illness strikes. AfterShock provides wise counsel and comfort for the unavoidable moment. It belongs in every American home.

Orville Schell, Dean, Graduate School of Journalism, University California, Berkeley
AfterShock is at once a very practical and very human set of operating instructions born out of the worst fundamental reality of even the most busy and seemingly indestructible life - that we are all mortal, will eventually become infirm and will die. How we handle these penultimate acts of our lives — whether for ourselves, families or friends — will comprise the last great challenge of our provisional time on earth. This unusual and heartfelt book will provide an incomparable guide for anyone confronting these challenges.