As a physician, writer, and clinical researcher, Haider Warraich wears many hats. He writes frequently for the New York Times and the Washington Post, and has also written for the the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, LA Times, Guardian, Vox, Slate, Boston Globe and Stat News. He has more than 120 peer reviewed research papers including mutliple papers in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association.
In his upcoming book, The Song of Our Scars: The Untold Story of Pain (Basic Books, April 2022), Warraich offers a bold reexamination of the nature of pain, not as a simple physical sensation, but as a cultural experience. He has previously written the books Modern Death: How Medicine Changed the End of Life (2017) and State of the Heart: Exploring the History, Science and Future of Cardiac Disease (2017).
Warraich, himself a sufferer of chronic pain, considers the ways our notions of pain have been shaped not just by science but by politics and power, by whose suffering mattered and whose didn’t. He weaves a provocative history from the Renaissance, when pain transformed into a medical issue, through the racial legacy of pain tolerance, to the opiate epidemics of both the nineteenth and twenty-first centuries, to the cutting edge of present-day pain science. The conclusion is clear: only by reckoning with both pain’s complicated history and its biol- ogy can today’s doctors adequately treat their patients’ suffering.
Trenchant and deeply felt, The Song of Our Scars is an indictment of a broken system and a plea for a more holistic understanding of the human body.
Dr Warraich completed internal medicine and cardiology training at Harvard Medical School and Duke University and is the Associate Director of Heart Failure at the VA Boston Healthcare System, Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. He has appeared on CNN, Fox, CBS, PBS, and on NPR shows like Fresh Air with Terry Gross, The Diane Rehm Show, The World, Marketplace and the BBC World Service.His research focuses on end of life care, heart disease, disparities and inequities in medical care, health care costs and policy.
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