THE YEAR OF THE INTERN by

THE YEAR OF THE INTERN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Behold the medical profession, molded to perfection, brainwashed, narrowly programmed, right wing in its politics, and fully dedicated to the pursuit of money."" Behold the system -- competitive and frustrating, with too much intensity and repression which cumulate with the fatigue of those early training years. You've beheld it before -- in more extensively abusive books (Martin Gross' Doctors -- 1966 -- for one) and on the whole Mr. Cook's account concentrates on his own anything but sanguine, ""eternally retracting,"" frightened and therefore angry year as an intern, appending ramifying remarks on the profession -- e.g. ""this operation entails an enormous amount of cutting and stitching and is therefore popular with surgeons."" His year was spent in Hawaii, in a perhaps more fallible nonteaching, nonuniversity hospital; in the intensive care unit, that ""strange nether world""; or the emergency room, not as many dire crises as you might expect but a good many more trivial or pediatric problems; or in general surgery where under a real pro he had a doctor who taught rather than ducked (""Your gall bladder. One false move and you'll be doing enemas for a month""). But then there were the others representing an obsolete establishment -- ""My patient isn't a millionaire and this isn't the Mayo Clinic."" It's an involving book if only in that Cook faults the lack of involvement in himself as well as others; it is also an intelligent, troubled and appreciably honest work-up of the profession without a pink pill in sight.

Pub Date: Sept. 20th, 1972
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich