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On Call: A Doctor's Days and Nights in…

On Call: A Doctor's Days and Nights in Residency (2004)

by Emily R. Transue

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A quick, easy read - I didn't find it spectacularly moving or incredibly beautifully written, but...I liked it, nonetheless. ( )
  AmyCahillane | Feb 24, 2016 |
Transue started writing this as a series of emails to friends and family while doing her residency to explain what she was going through and why she occasionally had to go on an emotional walkabout and not be completely present for them. It's not so much about the mechanics of being in residency, although that is certainly a big part, but rather about the patients, their experiences, and her own reactions to them. What I really appreciated about her writing is that she seems completely honest about her emotions and reactions, not shying away from revealing feeling stupid or ignorant or overwhelmed or tired. It's a fairly quick read since each story is only a few pages, but it packs quite an emotional punch and I've come away with, if possible, an even higher respect for the difficulties of the medical profession than I had before. ( )
  -Eva- | Jun 12, 2011 |
I like to read books about medicine....sort of the busman's holiday syndrome. I actually did not care for this book as much as the other reviewers. I think I felt it was really unbalanced. She sounds like she was overwhelmed and somewhat depressed throughout much of her residency. Almost all of her stories are about patients with a bad outcome. Having worked in a major teaching hospital environment, I just don't believe that the stories were representative. She seems more disconnected than most to what she was learning. It was very readable, with some good moments, but not going to be one of the books I save to read again. ( )
  PermaSwooned | Jan 29, 2011 |
Why are there so many doctors who are good writers? Transue is definitely one. She tells stories about her days as a resident that are compelling and emotionally moving. Recommended. ( )
  debnance | Jan 29, 2010 |
I liked this book. I didn't think she stressed the fact that she was a woman MD. It seems that many of her colleagues were women. After reading "On Call", I was bowled over by the enormous knowledge it takes to be a physician, especially in a time sensitive critical care environment. Dr Transue brings to life the pressure of making complicated dianoses and prescribing appropriate treatment while being pushed to get on to the next patient. Having been in the hospital, it never occurred to be that my treatment might be discussed by MD's over than my own surgeon.
My only criticism is that she seems to deal mainly with patients who die which would discourage me from recommending it to anyone who is ill. I kept thinking that reading it before I went to bed would give me unhappy dreams - but it didn't. ( )
  mckall08 | May 31, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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To Harriet F. Adams, J.D., Ph. D. My mother, teacher, inspiration, friend
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Medicine is a secret society of sorts, a world unto itself, with its own language, codes, and symbols.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312324847, Paperback)

On Call begins with a newly-minted doctor checking in for her first day of residency--wearing the long white coat of an MD and being called "Doctor" for the first time. Having studied at Yale and Dartmouth, Dr. Emily Transue arrives in Seattle to start her internship in Internal Medicine just after graduating from medical school. This series of loosely interconnected scenes from the author's medical training concludes her residency three years later.

During her first week as a student on the medical wards, Dr. Transue watched someone come into the emergency room in cardiac arrest and die. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before-it was a long way from books and labs. So she began to record her experiences as she gained confidence putting her book knowledge to work.

The stories focus on the patients Dr. Transue encountered in the hospital, ER and clinic; some are funny and others tragic. They range in scope from brief interactions in the clinic to prolonged relationships during hospitalization. There is a man newly diagnosed with lung cancer who is lyrical about his life on a sunny island far away, and a woman, just released from a breathing machine after nearly dying, who sits up and demands a cup of coffee.

Though the book has a great deal of medical content, the focus is more on the stories of the patients' lives and illnesses and the relationships that developed between the patients and the author, and the way both parties grew in the course of these experiences.

Along the way, the book describes the life of a resident physician and reflects on the way the medical system treats both its patients and doctors. On Call provides a window into the experience of patients at critical junctures in life and into the author's own experience as a new member of the medical profession.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:10 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Describes the life of a resident physician and reflects on the manner in which the medical system treats both its patients and doctors. Provides a window into the experiences of patients at critical junctures in life and into the authors's own experience as a new member of the medical profession.… (more)

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