THE MAKING OF A WOMAN SURGEON by

THE MAKING OF A WOMAN SURGEON

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An attention-holding account of Morgan's eleven years of surgical training--complete with the familiar gripes (fatigue, battling the medical hierarchy) and with insights into the pitfalls awaiting the still relatively few women entering the male-dominated field of surgery. Morgan, a plastic surgeon who writes the medical advice column for Cosmopolitan, describes first the rigors of applying to medical school. After finding it to be true that Harvard Medical School ""never accepted girls until they had been grilled by a psychiatrist,"" she went to Yale--and there started on the long struggle that, among other things, caused her to gain weight, start smoking, and wreck her teeth. She seems to have held herself aloof from some of the usual goings-on--morbid humor, sexual philandering--as well as from her contemporaries, partly because of the burden of proving over and over that a woman can succeed solely on her surgical skills. ""I was changing,"" she writes ruefully. ""I didn't realize how much until five years of general surgery residency was over, but I was being trained by good male surgeons to act like a good male surgeon."" And she notes, apropos of all surgical training--""Residents must learn to operate, and at times the desire to do a new operation is as strong as the desire to help a patient."" But--unlike some other recent women-in-white--Morgan stops short of any real analysis or criticism of the system. Still, hers is a more balanced assessment of her experiences than some--and altogether interesting for its medical particulars.

Pub Date: June 19th, 1980
Publisher: Putnam