Pamela Nagami, M.D.


The Woman with the Worm in Her Head: and Other True Stories of Infectious Disease
Bitten: True Medical Stories of Bites and Stings


Pamela Nagami, M.D., is a practicing physician in internal medicine and infectious diseases, and a clinical associate professor of medicine at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. She lives with her husband in Encino, California.

Praise for The Woman with the Worm in Her Head

Nagami zooms in like a microscope on infections. She presents them, with all their drama, in the context of how they alter patients’ and doctors’ lives. Along the way, she conveys an amazing amount of medical information that’s easy to absorb. Using her sharp storytelling skills, she illustrates for us how vulnerable we all are to microscopic intruders and how having the right doctor on our side can mean the difference between living and becoming another statistic in the morbidity reports.
— Jane E. Allen, The Los Angeles Times
In the tradition of Microbe Hunters, The Woman with a Worm in Her Head is a fascinating account of a physician’s struggles on behalf of her patients against the terrifying underworld of infectious diseases. Dr. Nagami is a compelling writer whose insatiable curiosity about bacteria and viruses never comes at the expense of those who suffer from them.
— Frank Huyler, M.D., author of THE BLOOD OF STRANGERS
The Woman with a Worm in Her Head brings us the excitement of the fight against infections, the human drama that surrounds their impact, and helps us understand how to avoid them. The reader will be swept up in the detective story behind finding the culprits and the human story that surrounds each case. This book successfully explores the interface between the sick patient and the all-too-human physician who comes with implacable weapons of modern medical technology, but more important, her own feelings, strengths, and weaknesses.
— C.J. Peters, M.D., author of VIRUS HUNTER
A physician of great medical skills and writing talent . . . Nagami, in her fine book, conveys her humanness, warmth, and caring concern as a physician, and as a person. She helps reestablish our faith in medical practice. After reading The Woman with a Worm in Her Head, at the first sign of microbial invasion you would want to call her to take care of you. I know I would.
— Robert S. Desowitz, Ph.D., author of THE MALARIA CAPERS
Gripping . . . clear and engaging . . . if you can stand excursions into the gut-wrenching, high-risk precincts of medical science, you will read and enjoy this from beginning to end.
— Arno Karlen, The Washington Post

Praise for Bitten

Fascinating but frightening... an absorbing read.
— Publishers Weekly
Sometimes it’s as obvious as a crocodile’s steely jaws closing on a limb. Other times, it’s a sting that remains undetected until there is observable swelling, redness, fever, or worse. Thousands of different types of creatures bite or sting people millions of times daily, and there is no escape from this predation.... In chapter after grisly chapter, infectious disease specialist Nagami describes the case histories of persons bitten or stung by creatures great and small. The world tour she conducts, which also explores treatments and cures, takes in such diverse perils as the African tsetse fly, the Komodo dragon, fire ants, family pets, garfish, and donkeys. 
— Booklist
An exceptionally readable and accurate series of accounts of unhappy encounters between people and various kinds of biting and stinging animals, even including those of the human kind.
— Andrew Spielman Sc.D., Professor of Tropical Public Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases and coauthor of MOSQUITO.