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Exhale is the riveting memoir of a top transplant doctor who rode the emotional rollercoaster of saving and losing lives—until it was time to step back and reassess his own life.

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Advanced Praise for Exhale

“Exhale is a compelling exploration of the beguiling world of transplantation. David Weill cranks up the hood to show us the engine—the stunning technological wizardry and the towering human dedication, as well as the oil-stained innards of profit and ego. You won’t look at your lungs in the same way again! ”

— Danielle Ofri, MD, PhD, author of "When We Do Harm: A Doctor Confronts Medical Error.”

“Exhale should be read by every doctor—and by anyone—who stays up too late and works too much.”

— Philip C. Breen, MD, PhD (father of Dr. Lorna Breen)

“Maturing from a hard-driving transplant doctor into a more compassionate clinician who finally allows himself to feel the anguish of the patients and their family, Dr. Weill finds he must confront his own unrelenting focus on treatment success. This is a riveting read.”

— Laurence M. Westreich, M.D, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine

“David Weill gives us a glimpse of the volatile and intense world of a transplant doctor, where split-second decisions can make the difference between life and death. Exhale is a captivating read about the courage and also the toll it takes to work at this rarified level of medicine. ”

— Daphne Merkin, author of 22 Minutes of Unconditional Love

“With great clarity, David Weill captures the euphoria and intoxication of saving a life, alongside the brutal anguish of losing one and the lifelong trauma of burnout that ensues thereafter. A must read for everyone, including those who have lost themselves in who they're being for everyone else.”

— Juliette Watt, Compassion Fatigue expert, TEDx Speaker

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Health care workers are burning mad — not only burnt out

Last week, President Biden signed into law the Dr. Lorna Breen Healthcare Provider Protection Act. Breen’s death by suicide was a sentinel moment in the early phase of the pandemic, a stark indication that our health care workforce was bearing a great burden of the pandemic’s onslaught.

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A Witness to the Human Experience: Why Medicine Needs Storytellers

While working at Stanford for 11 years on the frontlines of a top lung transplant program, I often had a plotline running in my head. I didn’t know the narrative’s exact format, but I knew there was a story to tell. I saw some truly inspiring things, including courageous patients who fought for their lives.

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Opinion: Of course unvaccinated people should be barred from receiving transplant organs

A Colorado health system recently sparked outrage by deciding that potential transplant recipients would not be considered for a transplant if they had not received the coronavirus vaccine. The issue arose when a woman had her spot on a kidney transplant list “inactivated,” with the threat of removal from the list entirely, if she didn’t pursue vaccination within 30 days.

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About David Weill

David Weill is the former Director of the Center for Advanced Lung Disease and the Lung Transplant Program at Stanford. He is currently the Principal of Weill Consulting Group, which focuses on improving the delivery of transplant care.

Dr. Weill’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Salon, Newsweek, the Chicago Tribune, STAT, USA Today, and the Washington Post. He also has been interviewed on CNN and by the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Wall Street Journal.

He lives with his wife and two daughters in New Orleans.