Choosing Wisdom Reviews

Choosing Wisdom Reviews

Choosing Wisdom coverChoosing Wisdom Reviews

Choosing Wisdom
Strategies and Inspiration for Growing Through Life-Changing Difficulties

Margaret Plews-Ogan, Justine E. Owens, and Natalie May

"Every once in awhile a book comes along that alters the landscape of words and thoughts; Choosing Wisdom is one of those rare books. I never heard of "posttraumatic growth" until I read this book and now it is term that lives hopefully in my soul. As a hospice and palliative care physician for the past 12 years, it was always interesting to watch individuals enter the terminal phases of their life; some spend their last days and weeks filled with anger, bitterness, and regrets while others enter the dying process filled gratitude, love, and hope. Why the difference? In Choosing Wisdom, a team of researchers at the University of Virginia led by Margaret Plews-Ogan, MD explores how average people respond to adversity, how they change, and what factors help or hinder positive change.

"This is a book about "hope" although I don't think that word came up often. This book gradually but persistently instills into the reader the hope that people–that I–can choose a wise path–one that will turn my sufferings and adverse experiences into something good. By entering the journeys of the patients described in this book, we learn how we can grow, change, and develop wisdom through adversity and how we can help others pick the wise path.

"I strongly and enthusiastically recommend this book to every health care provider, anyone facing their own difficult journey, and every person who wants to help others face life's difficulties.

~ James A. Avery, MD, CMD, FACP, FCCP, FAAHPM
Chief Executive Officer
Hospice of the Piedmont. Charlottesville, VA


"This is a wonderful and very accessible book that gives hope to all who suffer from physical and emotional pain. The participants in this study show how the straw of adversity can be spun into the gold of wisdom. I highly recommend this book to anyone who believes that life is a journey toward psychosocial growth."

~ Monika Ardelt, PhD
Associate Professor of Sociology
University of Florida


"Choosing Wisdom is a very human story taking us from breakdowns to breakthroughs in scenarios of unrelenting physical pain and physicians' serious medical errors. Health care providers of every discipline will benefit from the elegant strategies proposed; wise lessons from ordinary people. Choose this book and appreciate the power of those who can reframe adversity and develop wisdom along the way. We can too."

~ Dorrie K. Fontaine, PhD, RN, FAAN
Dean and Professor
University of Virginia School of Nursing


"Like a plant that grows toward the light, Choosing Wisdom takes the reader on a journey toward enlightenment through the stories of regular people who have faced difficult circumstances and been positively transformed in the process. It is a must-read for medical professionals, patients, and anyone interested in cultivating their own self-awareness and appreciation of our deep connections to the sufferings and joys of our fellow human beings."

~ Richard M. Frankel, PhD
Professor of Medicine and Geriatrics
Indiana University School of Medicine


"Ad astra per aspera (a rough road leads to the stars). Read this book as though your life depends on it– it does!"

~ Thomas S. Inui, ScM, MD
Senior Investigator and Professor of Medicine
Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and Indiana University School of Medicine


Amazon Review

"Down to earth discussion of what it is like for patient and physician when treatment does not produce the desired outcome, sometimes through error or sometimes through the nature of disease and treatment. We are so accustomed to the now seemingly magical successes of contemporary medicine it is all the more shocking when these quite complex procedures and treatments may not bring the expected results.

"This book and the CD enter into personal accounts of these experiences from the perspective of the physicians and the patients. A most insightful paradigm is offered for approaching these events and using the experience for increased wisdom and strength for the continuing journey. I purchased this to give to a first year medical student and her parents whom I love and respect and was delighted to find this to share with them."

Marita Digney, D. Min.
Psychologist, Charlottesville, VA