The Madeleine Brand Show for May 14, 2012

Author of 'God's Hotel' explains the practice of 'slow medicine'

"God's Hotel" by Victoria Sweet

"God's Hotel: A Doctor, A Hospital, and A Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine" by Victoria Sweet.

Until recently, Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco operated much like an almshouse during the Middle Ages. It served several purposes, providing a place for people who had fallen on hard times, while also offering extended, low-tech care.

The patients at Laguna Honda could stay for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. Dr. Victoria Sweet describes the practice as "slow medicine." She spent 20 years there after only intending to stay for two months.

Now she has written a book about her experience called "God's Hotel." She joins the program to discuss her experiences at Laguna Honda and how she drew inspiration from the 12th century nun, Hildegard of Bingen.

Guest:

Victoria Sweet is the author of "God's Hotel: A Doctor, a Hospital, and a Pilgrimage to the Heart of Medicine."


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