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Intern (1965)

by Doctor X

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1346153,879 (3.95)10
  1. 00
    Milestones: The Diary of a Trainee GP by Peter Stott (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Both are well-written books by apprentice doctors based on notes they took whilst in training. Different decades, different countries, but both are of general & not at all only of historical interest.

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In some respects, this account of an intern's year at a (disguised) hospital is out of date, with medical technology having dramatically changed, even since the time the book came out in the 1960s. On the other hand, one suspects that much of the pressure-cooker atmosphere remains, and the thin margin of life-and-death decision making, and the sheer exhaustion, remain evergreen. In any event, a very interesting and either well-read or well-edited book. Of note is that Nourse was also a skilled writer of science fiction, which may well account for something. Recommended. ( )
  EricCostello | Feb 9, 2020 |
The candid journal of a young doctor's critical first year. Fascinating! I loved it. ( )
  rohetherington | Apr 5, 2010 |
Based on a diary, this book tells of an intern's first year inside a hospital Although the narrative moves fluidly and with no lack of humor, it doesn't really have a storyline. Most of the characters are met for only a brief paragraph that describes their malady and how the intern dealt with it. Some stories were left hanging, as the author didn't see a patient through to the end of his hospital stay, or just didn't mention them again. Even the other interns and doctors on the staff are so sketchily presented that I had no real sense of who they were. What I did gather was how overwhelmingly demanding the work was.

Although many treatment methods in this book are surely now outdated- it being written at a time when polio was still a major threat, people routinely died of hepatitis and cancer treatment was mainly just pain management until the end- the actuality of how doctors reach a diagnosis, deal with troublesome or confusing patients, and occasionally make grave errors (being only human, after all) is probably still true today.

More at the Dog Ear Diary ( )
1 vote jeane | May 9, 2008 |
Surprising how much has changed in medicine since this was written - and how much is the same. ( )
  nearasyouget | Jul 22, 2007 |
This book was a very sobering read because of its age. When Doctor X was an intern, much was understood about the causes of various diseases, but cures were still far away. Cancer patients died routinely. Hepatitis was untreatable. He even mentions Wilson's disease, but only as something that damages the liver and no one knew why. (People with this illness can't metabolize copper, and because copper is only needed as a trace element, it can take years for it to build up to lethal levels.) There are antibiotics, but few vaccines. There are so many things that we can treat now but not then. I suspect this book even predates dialysis, as several people with failing kidneys die in it. While I have read many medical training books, this one showed me in plain words what we have been able to learn.
2 vote sister_ray | Apr 18, 2007 |
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