Robert Klitzman

Mortal Secrets: Truth and Lies in the Age of AIDS

"An in-depth look at the motivations, beliefs, and practices of those who must decide to get tested and if positive, whether or not to disclose, and when... Mortal Secrets delivers a powerful message using the voices of those most affected."
--Lisa K. Waldner, Ph.D., Journal of the American Medical Association


"A useful resource for both clinicians and laypersons, and I recommend it as a highly accessible and expertly written book."
--International Review of Psychiatry


"In this pioneering work, Bayer and Klitzman shed light not only on the complex and poorly understood world of communicating about HIV but also on the realities of morality as it is lived in the real world of frail and fallible human beings trying to talk about the most intimate matters imaginable. It is easy to advise our children and one another to always tell the truth. As Mortal Secrets reveals, that injunction can be and is applied in a variety of ways and with great nuance when the subjects at hand are sex, infection, and the transmission of disease. This study shows in ways poignant and telling that being ethical, while desirable, is neither simple nor easy."
--Arthur L. Caplan, University of Pennsylvania

Selected works

Non-fiction book
"This is a detailed first look at a critical aspect of U.S. medicine that may not mesmerize causal readers, but should prove indispensable for reform." - Publishers Weekly
Non-fiction
Fresh from medical school, Robert Klitzman began his residency in psychiatry with excitement and a sense of mission. But he was not prepared for what he found inside the city psychiatric center where he was to spend three grueling years. In truth, as Dr. Klitzman's absorbing account of his apprenticeship reveals, he never ceased to be surprised--by his patients, by the senior psychiatrists' conflicting advice on how to help them, and by the unpredictable results of the therapies, both psychoanalytic and biologic, that he and his fellow residents practiced. Nights in the emergency room, professional controversy, the minefield of hospital politics, the stress of his own therapy--everything is here, in a passionate and illuminating analysis of a doctor's struggle against tremendous odds to banish his patients' demons. [AN] INSIGHTFUL MEMOIR . . . RECOMMENDED." --Library Journal
Nonfiction
"[Klitzman's] sensitive, humanist approach converts information into knowledge."
--Andrew Solomon, author of Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression
"Klitzman's work is an important contribution to physical training and patient care. The wisdom shared in When Doctors Become Patients holds potential to make all physicians better caregivers."--JAMA
"...a book for anyone desiring to move forward in the fight against the illness, not the people."
--Erica Prigg, Health Communication
New York Times article
Op-Ed essay on the death of Osama Bin Laden
Memoir
".. a briskly engaging and informative work."
--Publishers Weekly
"There are extraordinary moments...[The book] describe[s] the tension between the endless stress and the fantastic learning curve of his Year-long Night.
--Washington Post