In 2016, as a practicing internist Dr. Heather Thompson is diagnosed with breast cancer and must abruptly enter the healthcare system for the first time as a patient. Her experiences, observations, and process of growth and transformation are outlined in her first book, Mirth is God’s Medicine: Coping with Cancer as a Physician.

A continuation of the story, With Mirth and Laughter: Finding Joy in Medicine After Cancernow moves beyond the early days of breast cancer treatment, including surgery, medication, and physical therapy, and further describes how a cancer diagnosis impacts her friendships, family dynamics, teaching and mentoring roles. More importantly, it changes her practice style and view of what it means to provide patient centered care. This book includes story after story of patient interactions, some ironic, many humorous, but all poignant and compelling; they serve to illustrate how being in one role ultimately benefits the other.

Dr. Thompson also chronicles how becoming a patient changes her approach in how she teaches and trains future physicians. Those in academic medicine or in a teaching role of any kind can relate. Cancer survivors as well as health care providers will appreciate the observations and shift in perspective as she moves from doctor as patient to patient as doctor. All the while, Dr. Thompson maintains her keen sense of humor, sharing many amusing stories about primary care, academic medicine, and even the somewhat harrowing process of becoming a writer.

Dr. Heather Thompson Buum is an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota in the Division of General Internal Medicine. She graduated from Hamline University in 1993 with a BA in biology, then went on to complete both medical school and residency at the University of Minnesota. She joined the faculty in 2002 and devotes half her time to patient care, practicing both outpatient primary care and inpatient hospital medicine. The remaining time, she spends in various teaching and administrative roles. She formerly served as an associate program director for the internal medicine residency and now is a course director for Human Health and Disease and a small group facilitator for Essentials of Clinical Medicine in the medical school. Dr. Thompson has won numerous awards for both teaching and patient care, including Outstanding Medical School Teacher in 2016, the Department of Medicine Clinical Excellence Award in 2013, and Minnesota Monthly’s Top Doctors for Women in 2013 and 2011. She is a member of the Society for General Internal Medicine and a fellow in the American College of Physicians. Her outside interests include choral music, performing with the Oratorio Society of Minnesota for over twenty years. She also enjoys cooking, running, and an occasional round of golf. She lives with her husband and two children in St. Paul.

Book details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Joshua Tree Publishing (April 26, 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 218 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1941049559
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1941049556
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 11.5 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6 x 0.55 x 9 inches
    • Doctor-Patient Relations
    • Breast Cancer (Books)
    • Oncology (Books)