Stories from the Street

Boston Globe

In the summer of 1985, two days after finishing his residency at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. James J. O’Connell entered the Nurses’ Clinic at Pine Street Inn for his first day of work. As he tells the story in his new book, Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor, his swagger drew a “stern grimace” from Barbara McInnis and the other nurses. She immediately set him straight about how to be effective with his patients: “Have coffee, play cards, share bits of yourself. Never judge. Remember that people have lived through hell and listen carefully to their stories. With that as bedrock, delivering health care might just be possible.”

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