by David Z. Hirsch, MD
Kindle Edition, 284 pg.
Read: December 26 – 30, 2017
This book follows Seth Levine through his 4 years of medical school: from Gross Anatomy to the verge of residency. Not just about his training, but the toll it takes on his relationship, and the way it impacts the rest of his life (and the lives of his classmates).
Overall, it’s told with a light touch — it’s by no means a laugh out loud, slapstick-y comedy — it’s comedic. There’s some drama, there’s some tragedy, but overall, it’s comedic.
The pacing could’ve been better — the first two years take the first 16% of the book, making them pretty much just an extended prologue to the real action in the Third (56 percent of the book) and Fourth Year. The Third Year needs the bulk of the book given everything that goes on, but it just felt odd. I didn’t need much more, just a little more from those first two years.
The book didn’t seem to know what it thought about Seth — was he an everyman? was he a superstar? a sad-sack? Were we supposed to be rooting for him and his relationship? His medical career? If the book didn’t seem to know what to think of him, how is the reader supposed to have an opinion? Eventually, the book decided (sometime after the 1/3 mark), but far later than I’d like.
Misgivings and criticisms aside, this was an entertaining read — it did everything it needed to: we got the gross med school moments, some medical triumphs, a failure, a couple of brushes with death, a couple of lessons about what a good doctor is, and a few chuckles. If med school/young doctor antics are your thing, or just 20-something bildungsromans, give this one a shot, your time will be well-spent.
Disclaimer: I received this from the author in exchange for this post — thanks to him for this, and I apologize for losing track of the emails regarding it so that I’m 8-9 months late with this.