Physician Victoria Sweet’s new memoir “God’s Hotel” details her experience working at the unique Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco, which cares for hundreds of elderly and disabled adults. Sweet has been working at the hospital for more than 20 years.

Her book describes not only her experiences with patients, but expounds on the practice of “slow” medicine, which gives doctors that precious commodity often missing in today’s health care system: time.

Victoria Sweet: ‘God’s Hotel’ 25 April,2012forum

Victoria Sweet, author, associate clinical professor of medicine at UCSF and a physician at San Francisco's Laguna Honda Hospital

  • James Ivey

    I’ll respectfully disagree that our healthcare system is functional without the AIA.  I’m self-employed and health insurance companies have refused to offer me a policy at any price due to the number of prescriptions I have.  If I ever have cancer, the most I can hope for without insurance is occasional care in the emergency room, only for pain and not to treat the cancer.  I will die of an otherwise curable disease.  My young daughter will be left fatherless.  How is that functional?

  • Frank

    Perhaps the lack of time doctors have with patients is not due to cost but to lack of enough doctors, especially primary care physicians, to meet the needs of society.

  • fpastine

    I ripped my achilles tendon twenty years ago, before I had health
    insurance.  I went to the closest emergency room and they said they would
    have to perform surgery to sew it together.  It would cost me 10,000
    cash and I would have to pay immediately. I didn’t have $10,000 so they
    referred me to General Hospital.  At General, they put my leg in a cast
    and it cost me $700. Had I had insurance, I would not know that the cast
    was an option and would have put my self at higher risk having
    surgery.  Later research informed me that surgery is only necessary for
    athletes who want at least %97 function back in their foot.  I was a
    dancer, but was easing out of the profession.  I still take ballet class
    and have no problem with my recovered achilles tendon.

  • Mitchell Hiserote

    Where again is her book signing this Friday?

    • Lindsay Wood

      4/27 at The Booksmith 1644 Haight Street.  5/3 at Bookshop West Portal 80 West Portal Ave. 5/8 Kepler’s in Menlo Park. 5/17 at Bookshop Santa Cruz.  This book is fascinating.

  • Tcarnold

    When I was a youngster in the 70s, I remeber my sister often performing with the Betty May Dance company for the patients and residents at Laguna Honda Hospital. The place was always packed and they always had smiles on their faces. I’m sure this kind of “therapy” was extremely helpful for their long term care and healing. I wonder if this still goes on?

  • guest

    The concept of Slow Medicine was not coined by Dr. Sweet, but by Dr. Alberto Dolara of Italy — ten years ago.  Then Dr. McCullough thought he invented it in geriatrics.  Both Dr. McCullough and Dr. Ladd Bauer have been writing and presenting Slow Medicine for years, and there is now an Italian national Slow Medicine organization in collaboration with Slow Food International.  The movement is poised to go international as a way of balancing health care.

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