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Something for the Pain: Compassion and…

Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER

by Paul Austin

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Dr. Paul Austin's account of his years in the ER. He mixes tales of patients and treatment in the ER with his own struggles with stress, shift work, and family troubles. I expected this book to have a lot more self-aggrandizing or guilt trips in it, but Austin comes across as very thoughtful, able to laugh at himself, be patient with others, and note his own strengths and weaknesses. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
Too much content on the author family life and very little about his work in the ER. ( )
  emed0s | Jan 16, 2011 |
Paul Austin’s Something for the Pain seemed like a good starting point. I read it last year during a spate of reading-books-about-doctors’-lives. I’ll try to post some of the others in the future, but this is the one that really stood out. It was honest and gripping, and Austin’s engaging style left me feeling that I could vicariously experience the challenges and rewards of being an ED physician. Austin’s struggles with shift work and home life rang true. I’m looking forward to reading his next book, which I hear will describe his life with his daughter, who has Down’s syndrome.
  yoshimi-dragon | Jan 13, 2011 |
This is the most human doctor book I've ever read. This is high praise not only because I have read almost every g-damn doctor book out there, because those people are usually flesh-colored robots who can't write for shit.In this memoir, Paul Austin curses, loses it, lusts after his wife, and beautifully communicates the trajectory of an ER doctor, from training to practice, focusing on how to maintain compassion (sanity) in the face of the meat grinder that is shift work in medicine. He also cracked me up a lot.I'm glad I read it right after [a:Pauline Chen|192504|Pauline W. Chen|http://www.goodreads.com/images/nophoto/nophoto-U-50x66.jpg]'s [b:Final Exam|335690|Final Exam A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality|Pauline W. Chen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1173845419s/335690.jpg|2298119], because they're two great tastes that taste great together. [b:Final Exam|335690|Final Exam A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality|Pauline W. Chen|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1173845419s/335690.jpg|2298119] is the theory, and [b:Something for the Pain|3419519|Something for the Pain One Doctor's Account of Life and Death in the ER|Paul Austin|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51WV53vOYlL._SL75_.jpg|3459983] is the practice. ( )
  damsorrow | Jul 22, 2009 |
About: An emergency room doctor details hopeful as well as grim ER cases, appreciative and combative patients and the struggle of balancing work, sleep and family.

Pros: Solidly written, gives a nice glimpse into the hardships and high points of an ER life and the toll it can take on a doctor and his family.

Cons: Some medical terms not defined. Blurbs on the back are mostly from folks who have little to do with medicine and seem to consist of his teachers at a writing conference. ( )
  charlierb3 | Oct 6, 2008 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039306560X, Hardcover)

In this riveting memoir, an ER doctor reveals how his high-stress career of helping others led to a struggle to save himself.

"It turns out there are all kinds of things about working in an ER that most of us haven't learned from TV or having sat in one. In Something for the Pain, Paul Austin—the ER doc you'd hope to get if something really bad happened—tells us, vividly and with uncommon candor, how, if you aren't careful, saving people's lives can make you sick."—Ted Conover, author of Newjack

In this eye-opening account of life in the ER, Paul Austin recalls how the daily grind of long, erratic shifts and endless hordes of patients with sad stories sent him down a path of bitterness and cynicism. His own life becomes Exhibit A, as he details the emotional detachment that estranges him from himself and his family. Gritty, powerful, and ultimately redemptive, Austin's memoir is a revealing glimpse into the fragility of compassion and sanity in the industrial setting of today's hospitals.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:58 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In this riveting memoir, an ER doctor reveals how his high-stress career of helping others led to a struggle to save himself.

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 039306560X, 0393337790

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