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Longwood Author Series: Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient

Longwood Author Series: Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient


Join us for a special virtual panel discussion featuring New York Times bestselling author Theresa Brown, RN about her new book Healing: When a Nurse Becomes a Patient.


Theresa Brown, RNPhoto of Theresa Brown

Theresa Brown, RN, author of the New York Times bestseller The Shift, has been a contributor to the New York Times. Her writing appears on CNN.com and in the American Journal of Nursing, the Journal of the American Medical Association, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. She has been a guest on MSNBC Live and NPR’s Fresh Air. Her first book was Critical Care, and during what she calls her past life, she received a PhD in English from the University of Chicago. She lectures nationally and internationally on issues related to nursing, health care, and end of life.

Beth Shaughnessy, MD, PhDPhoto of Beth Shaughnessy

Dr. Beth Shaughnessy is currently a professor of surgery at the University of Cincinnati and serves as president of the Association of Women Surgeons and co-director of the Breast Cancer Comprehensive Multidisciplinary Program at the Barrett Cancer Center. Her research interests include understanding aspects of benign breast disease relative to breast cancer risk, and the influence of environmental factors on such risk. Dr. Shaughnessy has long been involved with the Association of Women Surgeons and the American Society of Breast Surgeon

Caroline Sheehan, RNPhoto of Caroline Sheehan

Caroline Sheehan has worked for thirty five years in oncology, both inpatient and outpatient settings, in academic medical centers such as Dana Farber, Tufts Medical Center and Stanford Medical Center. Early in her career she focused primarily on hematological malignancies and bone marrow transplantation. She also specialized in G.I. cancers and Multiple Myeloma. Caroline now enjoys practicing primary nursing at Mount Auburn Hospital with a diverse group of patients with different diagnoses. Her education consists of a  bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in public health from Boston University.  

Susan Pories, MD, MACS (MODERATOR)Photo of Susan Pories

Susan Pories is Associate Co-Director of the Arts and Humanities Initiative at Harvard Medical School and is dedicated to enriching medical education with the arts and humanities. She is the Medical Director of the Hoffman Breast Center, and Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Auburn Hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and an Associate Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. She is on the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Board of Governors, representing the Association of Women Surgeons. She served as the Chair of the ACS Women in Surgery Committee (WiSC) and is a Past-President of the Association of Women Surgeons. 



“A stunning book that helped me understand how to survive a serious illness and how to understand hospitals in general. Theresa Brown is also a hell of a good writer.”
—James Patterson

“A deeply moving story of an oncology nurse forced to navigate our imperfect health care system after an ultrasound exam upends her life. Brown offers important lessons for patients and health care providers alike.”
—Damon Tweedy, New York Times bestselling author of Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine

“Revealing and heart-wrenching . . . Alternating the narrative between her time as a nurse and as a patient, she passionately shares the range of emotions she felt and offers advice for both patients and nurses who are facing breast cancer . . . By sharing her story, Brown delivers much-needed advocacy for those who are often ignored or misunderstood. An essential read for all members of the medical community.”
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

From the mammogram that would change her life through her diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, New York Times bestselling author Theresa Brown, RN, tells a poignant and powerful story about having breast cancer in the United States.

Despite her training and years of experience as an oncology and hospice nurse, Brown finds it difficult to navigate the medical maze from the other side of the bed. Why is she so often left in the dark about procedures and treatments? Why is she expected to research her own best treatment options? Why is there so much red tape? At times she’s mad at herself for not speaking up and asking for what she needs but knows that being a “difficult” patient could mean she gets worse care.

Of the almost four million women in this country living with breast cancer, many have had, like Brown, a treatable form of the disease. Both unnerving and extremely relatable, her experience shows us how our for-profit health care industry “cures” us but at the same time leaves so many of us feeling alienated and uncared for. As she did so brilliantly in her New York Times bestseller, The Shift, Brown relays the unforgettable details of her daily life—the needles, the chemo drugs, the rubber gloves, the bureaucratic frustrations—but this time from her new perch as a patient, looking back at some of her own cases and considering what she didn’t know then about the warping effects of fear and the healing virtues of compassion. “People failed me when I was a patient and I failed patients when working as a nurse. I see that now,” she writes.

Healing is must-read for all of us who have tried to find healing through our health-care system.

Thursday, June 23, 2022
6:00pm - 7:15pm
Time Zone:
Eastern Time - US & Canada (change)

Event Organizer

Yasmina Kamal

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