A Doctor's Initiation
By Sandeep Jauhar
Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374146597, 320pp.
Publication Date: December 26, 2007
List Price: $25.00*
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Intern is Sandeep Jauhar's story of his days and nights in residency at a busy hospital in New York City, a trial that led him to question our every assumption about medical care today. Residency--and especially the first year, called internship--is legendary for its brutality. Working eighty hours or more per week, most new doctors spend their first year asking themselves why they wanted to be doctors in the first place.
Jauhar's internship was even more harrowing than most: he switched from physics to medicine in order to follow a more humane calling--only to find that medicine put patients' concerns last. He struggled to find a place among squadrons of cocky residents and doctors. He challenged the practices of the internship in The New York Times, attracting the suspicions of the medical bureaucracy. Then, suddenly stricken, he became a patient himself--and came to see that today's high-tech, high-pressure medicine can be a humane science after all.
Now a thriving cardiologist, Jauhar has all the qualities you'd want in your own doctor: expertise, insight, a feel for the human factor, a sense of humor, and a keen awareness of the worries that we all have in common. His beautifully written memoir explains the inner workings of modern medicine with rare candor and insight.
“Very few books can make you laugh and cry at the same time. This is one of them. Sandeep reveals himself in this book as he takes us on a wondrous journey through one of the most difficult years of his life. It is mandatory reading for anyone who has been even the slightest bit curious about how a doctor gets trained, and for physicians, it is a valuable record of our initiation.” —Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent and author of Chasing Life
“Intern will resonate not only with doctors, but with anyone who has struggled with the grand question: ‘what should I do with my life?’ In a voice of profound honesty and intelligence, Sandeep Jauhar gives us an insider's look at the medical profession, and also a dramatic account of the psychological challenges of early adulthood.” —Akhil Sharma, author of An Obedient Father
“Told of here is a time of travail and testing—a doctor’s initiation into the trials of a demanding yet hauntingly affirming profession—all conveyed by a skilled, knowing writer whose words summon memories of his two great predecessors, Dr. Anton Chekhov and Dr. William Carlos Williams: a noble lineage to which this young doctor’s mind, heart, and soul entitle him to belong.” — Robert Coles
"Intern is not just a gripping tale of becoming a doctor. It's also a courageous critique, a saga of an immigrant family living (at times a little uneasily) the American dream, and even a love story. A great read and a valuable addition to the literature--and I use the word advisedly--of medical training." --Melvin Konner, M.D. Ph.D., author of Becoming a Doctor
"In this era when medical shows abound on TV, Jauhar demonstrates the power of the written word in the hands of a sensitive, thoughtful observer and an experienced, gifted writer. Intern is a compelling, accurate and heartfelt chronicle of what that year is really like. It will be the standard by which future such memoirs will be judged."--Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and The Tennis Partner