Walk on Water by Michael Ruhlman
Inside an Elite Pediatric Surgical Unit

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Described by one surgeon as “soul-crushing, diamond-making stress,” surgery on congenital heart defects is arguably the most difficult of all surgical specialties. Drawing back the hospital curtain for a unique and captivating look at the extraordinary skill and dangerous politics of critical surgery in a pediatric heart center, Michael Ruhlman focuses on the world-renowned Cleveland Clinic, where a team of medical specialists—led by idiosyncratic virtuoso Dr. Roger Mee—work on the edge of disaster on a daily basis. Walk on Water offers a rare and dramatic glimpse into a world where the health of innocent children and the hopes of white-knuckled families rest in the hands of all-too-human doctors.


About Michael Ruhlman

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Michael Ruhlman is the author of Ratio, The Soul of a Chef, The Making of a Chef, Charcuterie, and, with, Thomas Keller, The French Laundry Cookbook. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Photographer Donna Turner Ruhlman lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
Published March 30, 2004 by Penguin Books. 362 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Ruhlman, who previously explored excellence in craft at the Culinary Institute of America (The Making of a Chef, 1997) and at a Martha’s Vineyard boatyard (Wooden Boats, 2001), shifts his attention to a field where highly developed skill can make the difference between life and death.

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And while congenital heart defects are the most common kind of birth defect, the book reveals that most parents are unaware of the vast difference between having surgery performed by "a virtuoso" like Dr. Mee and an average surgeon whom a local cardiologist might feel compelled to refer patients ...

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