The author examines the challenging, arduous program of medical internship.
Jauhar, the the director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, chronicles in swift prose the often harrowing adventures he experienced as a medical intern. Born to a lab technician and a plant geneticist in a quaint southern California suburb, Jauhar whizzed through his schooling relatively unsure of a career path. After a fleeting interest in psychiatry, the author, while studying in Berkeley, warmed to the idea of following the footsteps of his brother Rajiv, a Manhattan doctor, even though he still considered a career in internal medicine “so bourgeois.” His tremulous first year as a medical intern became traumatic as he wrestled with by-the-book protocol, the “unsavoriness” of ornery ICU patients (where “sometimes the cure is worse than the disease”) and grueling rounds at the hospital’s ward 10-North—all while harboring a particular queasiness around corpses and rectal procedures. Increasingly at the mercy of relentless fatigue and doctor-patient politics, Jauhar nearly resigned in his second year, but his confident bedside manner and steely resolve won out. The author also found time to romance fellow medical student Sonia, who eventually became his wife. Jauhar’s candid account of his stressful journey is enlightening, educational and eye-opening. After ten successful years in the profession, the author dolefully admits that he is unfazed by the “small injustices” in hospitals today.
Required reading for anyone seriously considering a career in medicine.