Tuesday, August 30, 2011

52 Books in 52 Weeks - Book 23: Becoming a Doctor

Well, so much for posting regularly during the summer. This year has gone by quickly with many events, activities and ideas that have kept me busy. I'm still reading, of course, and I am probably way ahead of my book per week goal, which is great! Unless, of course, you wanted me to cook dinner or do the laundry or something.

I'm kicking my reviews off with the book closest at hand - Becoming a Doctor. I picked this book up out of a trash pile, for lack of a better term. An area private school was discarding some textbooks & library books. They sent a message to the homeschool community letting us know that we could come and get them if we were interested. I picked up a good American history book authored by Daniel Boorstein, former Librarian of Congress. I picked up other things, but in retrospect I don't think I'll need most of it, so it is going to the free box at our homeschool store.

Back to Becoming a Doctor by Melvin Konner, M.D., who attended medical school after having an established career in anthropology as a researcher and professor. Dr. Konner focuses on the development and training of physicians from the perspective of  how they are taught, or not taught, to relate to their patients, instead of the patients illnesses. The reader trails the author through medical school and it's various courses and hospital training rotations and learns what he observed about the way the people involved in the scenarios interact with each other, the clinical information they are given and the families that are involved.

If you are interested in a career in medicine, you may enjoy this book. It is different from similar books in that it is much more introspective with a focus on the people, not the procedures or the play by play of personal relationships. I think it is what you would expect from an academic oriented anthropologist, however. The writing style is a bit dry, and I never found that one nugget of insight that might have made me sit up and say that reading this book was worth the time. Perhaps there is a nugget here for you, though!

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