Intern: A Doctor's Initiation by Sandeep Jauharhttp://www.amazon.com/Intern-Doctors-Initiation-Sandeep-Jauhar/dp/0374146594/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1201974240&sr=1-6
(Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008)
Humility is something one rarely finds among doctors. It was refreshing
to find that in the recounting of Dr. Jauhar's story, he was very quick
to admit the inadequacies and limitations he possessed. His candor was
much appreciated. Every student entering the medical field and those
already pursuing this profession should read his story as it will allow
them to understand what lies ahead of them, assure them that they are
not the only ones feeling the way they do, and comfort them with the
fact that there is a light at the end of the tunnel (and no it's not a
train coming in the opposite direction).
The fact that Jauhar switched from a career in experimental condensed-matter in physics after earning a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley to internal medicine at the New York Hospital-Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan
only added to the struggle buried deep within him. Yet, with the
encouragement, prodding, tough love and understanding from his parents,
older brother (who is also a doctor) and wife Sonia coupled with his
dedication and hard work, he's come a long way.
initiation, with which Dr. Jauhar so apply includes in the title,
conjures up more ideas than just a "beginning", "introduction" or
"entrance". Intern allows us to "make the rounds" with Dr. Jauhar
during the many harrowing days and nights in one of the busiest New York City
hospitals. In doing so, the reader plunges into the trials that led the
author to question so many procedures and protocols associated with
medical care. An eighty hour work week certainly constitutes a brutal
initiation rite, which is only part of the rigorous training linked
with this profession. It's no wonder that he and so many like him
question their decision to become doctors in the first place.
Persevering to find himself while dealing with irate patients, and
self-righteous residents and doctors he challenged the practices he
despised in The New York Times,
again questioning his chosen path. Beginning to believe that being in
the medical field meant the patients' concerns came last, he suddenly
became a patient himself. His conclusion in the aftermath was that
today's high-tech medicine can be a humane science after all.
He completed his cardiology fellowship training at New York University Medical Center in 2004 (with specialized heart-failure training at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center) and is now the director of the Heart Failure Program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center and a medical journalist in New York City.
Although after reading his story, it certainly doesn't urge me in any
way to enter the medical field, however, it does give me a better
perspective on what a doctor has to go through before reaching that
status in life. The stories of both the patients and students were
touching, infuriating, heartwarming and tearful. They explain clearly
the emotional and physical roller-coaster these (sleep-deprived in most
cases) students must traverse through if they ever hope to reach their
desired objective. Unfair though it is, until the medical field catches
up with new and innovative ideas in training there will be those who
become casualties in seeking to rise above the "boot camp" experience.
In the meanwhile, may we come to appreciate the struggles and
dedication of doctors like Dr. Sandeep Jauhar.