The big news first. I got my Amazon Kindle from K. And what a beauty she has turned out to be! All of you Kindle fans out there, Hi-10!
I wanted to try the free books first. There aren’t a lot of great ones free. Obviously, actually. There maybe a rare gem but you know what I mean. So, the first one was 7 patients. I thought it was a medical thriller of sorts and so promptly downloaded it.
Written by Atul Kumar, this book is about a 3rd year medical student on rotations in a University hospital in the US. Moving from ICU to ER and so on, Raj Mok’s life and perceptions of medicine are changed by 7 patients he encounters.
Each of the chapters throw light on how a doctor’s charts maybe anything but the truth. Challenging decisions, lessons learned, the team and mentorship go a long way in facilitating a medical student to form his own construct of what kind of doctor he/she should be. And this, is by no means easy. I personally related to the “detachment” any healthcare professional must develop if he were to be objective in his treatment.
There is also the topic of euthanasia being discussed from the perspective of a third year student. Colostomy for prostitution, the deadly mistake of not wearing gloves when handling patients, the lethal TEN, a face in the process of being eaten by maggots – definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. But then, which book is?
The language is okay. I found some word errors and editing errors in my Kindle version. I sure hope, they have rectified it in their prints atleast. Also, I did read that the questioning procedure by the detective in one of the cases is not how it is legally done in the US. The first patient’s story was a bit disappointing in the way one of the characters (the detective) uses coarse language but then that’s the character. Probably, better research into the workings of legal systems and medical systems and better use of language would have helped take this book a notch higher.
Some patients’ descriptions are gory to say the least but then, nothing is surprising in medicine. I enjoyed reading this one because I could relate to some of the dilemnas I faced as a student myself when pursuing internships in hospitals. The life of a student on rotation is a mixed bag – there is a whole lot to learn if you are keen and at the same time, it is a little overwhelming because you get close to acute care in a way you never thought you would. You get attached to patients and it is hard to say bye though the first thing you wish for them is to get out of the hospital ASAP. The paediatric wards are something else totally. Medicine training really is all about what you make of it.
Definitely not ” The House of God“. But, passable and sometimes a page-turner, especially if you like medicine.