MEDICAL STUDENT: The Making of a Doctor by

MEDICAL STUDENT: The Making of a Doctor

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A thoroughly unremarkable account of four years at Harvard medical school--especially pallid alongside Charles LeBaron's Gentle Vengeance (p. 120). Klein originally wanted to be a neurophysiologist; advised by a professor to earn the ""doctor"" title by M.D. rather than Ph.D., he backed half-heartedly into medicine (eventually he became a gastroenterologist). For him, as for many vocal others, medical school first meant a round of woes: endless studying, difficulty in memorizing, lack of patient contact, and isolation from the outside world (though, living off campus with non-medical housemates, Klein did a bit better than most). Once in actual contact with patients, however, Klein becomes markedly more enthusiastic. With some insight, he reports what-every-medical-student-discovers: that it's difficult to remain sensitive to individuals; that one tends to act the way interns and residents act (however wrong they may seem); that young people also die--which brings a realization of one's own mortality. More noteworthy is Klein's experience as a hernia patient at the end of his third year of med school. Electing to have surgery with acupuncture (half out of curiosity, half from fear of general and local anesthesia), Klein found it didn't work; he felt the pain and tugging of the incision, the actual repair, and the putting of stitches into his skin. Otherwise, the attraction here is a subject of perennial interest handled in an easy-going manner.

Pub Date: May 4th, 1981
Publisher: Little, Brown