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Achieving So Much With So Little

Vincent N. Cefalu’s ACHIEVING SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE is a compelling and inspirational autobiography……………….. accounts of the many unusual cases he saw in his years as a Tangipahoa Parish coroner are entertaining and illuminating. Cefalu is a master of self-deprecation, attributing his achievements in life to his strong will to succeed rather than his mental acuity.
Clarion Review


Dr. Vincent N. Cefalu, a retired coroner in rural Louisiana, set out to write an inspiring autobiography on overcoming mental and physical challenges, and on the face of it, the facts of his life are remarkable.
Blue Ink Review


A frank, unadorned report of the author’s profound struggles with feelings of inadequacy.
Kirkus Review


Through A Doctor’s Eyes: Our Problematic System

Cefalu’s book is a personal testament to the ingenuity and compassion needed to solve problems in a broken health care system.

Through A Doctor’s Eyes: Our Problematic System addresses the broad issues of medical practice through one man’s retrospective of his own career.   His experience and expertise, combined with time for reflection, give his insights both immediacy and depth.

Cefalu discusses his specific experiences as a physician (making sure to guard his former patients’ confidentiality), including “the types of cases and the problems that typically confront a family practice physician.”

Since Cefalu is largely sharing his life experiences, the book has a more day-to-day approach than a problem-or-system-driven focus, which makes it more refreshing and enlightening to read than a deconstruction of heath care policies.   The terminology and explanation are accessible to lay readers, but it’s a great read for premed and medical students who want a first-person, anecdotal look at the profession:  they’ll find inspiration, wisdom, and an example of one physician who found success despite challenges.

Cefalu’s book has a personal quality, even as it examines systematic issues.  The cover image—Cefalu and his grandsons—reflects the casual, memoir-like quality of the book and conveys the author’s desire to leave a legacy for his family.

Clarion Review


Cefalu’s garrulous memoir evaluates the U.S. health care system.

Written as an overview of his professional life and the opinions that he developed along the way, Cefalu (Achieving So Much With So Little, 2013)—-who spent 30 years as a physician and coroner—discusses his cases in detail (while respecting patient confidentiality), explaining his thought processes on diagnosing and treating the various ailments he encountered in rural Louisiana.   Through this lens, Cefalu also discusses the social, cultural and political circumstances that surrounded his patients, and he analyzes the entire U.S. health care system.  As a cap on his lengthy ruminations, he offers a smattering of poems to elucidate further his beliefs and opinions on the state of health care in America, with a particular focus on the various ways in which government inefficiency ties the hands of doctors and patients alike.

Kirkus Review


A retired family practice physician with patients in rural Louisiana reflects on treatment challenges as well as rampant ineffectiveness and waste in the medical world in his memoir, Through A Doctor’s Eyes:  Our Problematic System.

Over the years, Dr. Vincent N. Cefalu treated patients of all kinds, ranging from battered children and the obese to prison inmates and those with mental and substance abuse issues and more.  He also worked briefly as a coroner.  Time and again, he writes, he struggled with issues of government waste and injustice, controlling drug companies and other situations that greatly impacted his wellbeing of patients and his own practice.

Despite his difficulties, he also emphasizes the great importance of doctors working in rural areas where resources are limited.

The author is honest in sharing personal issues——-

On the positive side, the author offers numerous specific examples from his own practice to illustrate his deep concerns regarding the troubling way government bureaus and pharmaceutical companies negatively impact the wellbeing of people, especially the impoverished, and why the system needs revamping.

Blue Ink Review