I love books about hospitals, doctors and medicine. I don't like hospitals, or doctors, or blood, but I like reading about them! I find medicine fascinating because it has evolved so much over the years and doctors are now able to treat many illnesses and diseases that were fatal not too long ago. But I also think that Western medicine has lost its way and in the maze of insurance companies and hustle to see as many patients as possible the patients have been forgotten.
Matt McCarthy is a physician who focuses on people over procedures and protocol, but as he navigates his intern year in The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly his focus leads to some uncomfortable moments and conversations.
As he works through his first intern year McCarthy is faced with difficult questions: Is he too invested? Where is the line between being too clinical and overly familiar? What should he as a doctor disclose to his patients about his personal life as he is trying to serve and help them?
I enjoyed this book immensely because McCarthy is not afraid to be honest about how uncertain and unafraid he was in the beginning. He's open about the mistakes he made, and how he could have handled certain situations better. And when an accident occurs that shakes McCarthy's world he has to learn how to exist as both a doctor and patient living in uncertainty and fear. (I don't want to give too much away here, because the moment when the accident occurs had me yelling, "Oh no! NO!! in the middle of my living room).
As McCarthy works from novice intern to second year resident he is transformed into a doctor. He gains confidence in his skills, he learns a lot of medicine, and he begins to find a comfortable balance between being a caring doctor and caring to the point of becoming overly emotionally invested.
The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly was so interesting to me I began it after dinner and finished it before I went to bed. I left the dishes a mess, the laundry sitting in the dryer, put the kids to bed, and read until I was finished. I wanted to know what happened to McCarthy, and one of his patients whose story parallels McCarthy's. After reading The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly I have a better understanding of what it takes to transition from medical school to practicing doctor, and how wearing it is on the body and mind. I respect McCarthy and his honesty about his intern year.
If you like Atul Gawande or Paul Kalanithi you will enjoy this book.
"I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."