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Trust Me, I'm a (Junior) Doctor [Paperback]

Max Pemberton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
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Book Description

7 Aug 2008
If you're going to be ill, it's best to avoid the first Wednesday in August. This is the day when junior doctors graduate to their first placements and begin to face having to put into practice what they have spent the last six years learning. Starting on the evening before he begins work as a doctor, this book charts Max Pemberton's touching and funny journey through his first year in the NHS. Progressing from youthful idealism to frank bewilderment, Max realises how little his job is about 'saving people' and how much of his time is taken up by signing forms and trying to figure out all the important things no one has explained yet -- for example, the crucial question of how to tell whether someone is dead or not. Along the way, Max and his fellow fledgling doctors grapple with the complicated questions of life, love, mental health and how on earth to make time to do your laundry. All Creatures Great and Small meets Bridget Jones's Diary, this is a humorous and accessible peek into a world which you'd normally need a medical degree to witness.Max Pemberton is a doctor. He writes a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph.

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Trust Me, I'm a (Junior) Doctor + Where Does it Hurt?: What the Junior Doctor Did Next + In Stitches: The Highs and Lows of Life as an A&E Doctor
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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (7 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340962054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340962053
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,952 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Max Pemberton is a practicing doctor. As well as a degree in Medicine, he completed a degree in Anthropology for which he was awarded a first and a prize for academic excellence. Max has worked in a broad range of medicine from geriatrics, adult psychiatry, surgery and paediatric palliative care. He is also a columnist for the Daily Telegraph and Reader's Digest. In 2010, he was named Public Educator of the Year 2010 by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Product Description


Reads like Scrubs: The Blog... This diary-style account of Pemberton's first year on the wards is funny and awful in equal measure. (Observer)

Very funny and frank. (Independent)

Painfully funny. (Boris Johnson)

Reading his absurdly funny, beautifully observed, day to day, horror stories from the wards, made me laugh and shudder (Maureen Lipman)

Book Description

In the vein of the best 'blog books' - the real life story of a hapless junior doctor, based on his columns written anonymously for the Telegraph

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern tale of junior doctor life 29 Dec 2008
By M. Thornton VINE VOICE
I bought this book expecting another depressing and cynical account of life as a junior doctor but I was pleasantly surprised. There are a few tired old cliches in here ("I used to worry about caring too much. Now I worry about not caring enough.") but on the whole the writing is fresh and original. The more personal stories about the author's flatmates and colleagues add warmth and realism to the day to day grind and bring the story to life. There is a good balance between cynicism and hope and the author is very honest about his doubts and failings.

I wished the author had talked more about why he chose the specialty that he did, and how his house officer year affected his career plans.

Anyone who has been a house officer will be able to relate to this. My favourite part was the description of being so tired from a long day on call and yet not wanting to go to bed because that will just bring the next day around that much quicker - so true!

This book will also be of interest to medical students and to anyone who would like to know more about life as a junior doctor in the NHS. It is accessible and not filled with meaningless jargon.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Engaging enough, but not ground-breaking 16 Aug 2008
By unlikely_heroine VINE VOICE
Max Pemberton has written an engaging account of his first year as a junior doctor, which I enjoyed reading, but there's something all too familiar about the trials and tribulations he runs through here. Any casual viewer of medical dramas such as "Casualty", "Holby City" , "Cardiac Arrest", "Bodies", "E.R." (etc, etc, etc) will be aware that junior doctors are overworked, underpaid, put under pressure by superiors, and often feel that they are out of their depth. Similarly, the idea that hospitals are being overrun with bureaucracy, paperwork, targets, league tables (etc, etc, etc) is nothing new.

Other familiar medical territory that has the crash team called, the paddles readied and the electric charge applied here includes Max losing heart and beginning to consider other career choices (a dilemma resolved in predictable fashion); family members who complain the young doctor has lost weight and needs to be fed up, etc; nurses being under-appreciated; junior doctors making mistakes (though none that are actually that bad); a senior doctor who is a ladies man and works his way through the younger, impressionable female doctors; X-rays, blood tests, brain scans etc being very difficult to obtain unless special favours can magically be called in by nurses and administration staff who manage to fix things for our hero and earn his eternal gratitude; and an impassioned defence of the NHS. It is all very readable, and I have no doubt that it is all very accurate, but this book is not ground-breaking, and does not take any risks in its depiction of a junior doctor's first year.

Max is a very likeable narrator, and his writing style is gently amusing, if not as hilarious as some of the cover blurb promises the reader.
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30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought Provoking 26 Mar 2008
By David Cranson VINE VOICE
Boris Johnson is quoted as saying this is "Painfully Funny" Well . . . yes and no.

Rather, it is a thoughful, well-written, worrying account of life for a junior doctor in his first after qualifying. There are actually very few genuinely laugh-out-loud moments, however the stories Dr Pemberton regales us with will make you smile, frown, laugh, almost cry . . .

If this is a true reflection of how the NHS is run - and treats it's Junior Doctors, then it is almost beyond belief that more people haven't died, and that more doctors aren't leaving in their droves.

There are stories of abuse, love, hate, fear, laughter, joy, discouragment - from colleagues and from patients. There are moments when you want to cry out in anger and frustration along with the autor. There are moments when you will laugh out loud. There are moments when you will shake your head in disbelief.

You may find yourself agreeing with the author - and others in the book - that things could be done so much better, if it wasn't for political creed and expediency - from all sides of the political spectrum.

I would recommend this book to everyone who is considering a career in medicine. I would recommend it to evey politician and management consultant. To every Clinician, nurse, medical consultant and patient (past present or future).

This book is a damning indictment of the way the NHS is run now, and it is also uplifting. It is uplifting to understand that there are still dedicated people out there who want to work in our hospitals and put up with political interfering and the aggrevation from patients and senior doctors.

Like the author I believe that the NHS is a good thing, and must be saved at all costs. However, also like the author I dispare sometimes of the way it is being treated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book. 8 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend this book to anyone in the medical profession or anyone thinking of taking up medicine as a carreer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very funny - and brilliantly eye-opening to boot 18 Dec 2009
I don't read The Daily Telegraph, so I'd never heard of Max Pemberton until I started to hear the gentle murmurings about this book. I picked it up on a whim when it arrived in a box of books at our shop, and it turned out to be well worth a read.

It's a kind of diary of Pemberton's first year as a junior doctor, fresh out of medical school, terrified, and absolutely clueless as to the day to day running of a hospital ward. Along with his friends Ruby, Supriya and Lewis, he has to negotiate the egos of his consultants, befriend the nurses and secretaries who will help him adjust, learn to book scans and prescribe medication, cope with his mistakes and develop a confident bedside manner. Along the way there is death and despair, hope and uncertainty, joy and laughter.

I learned a lot about the way a ward operates, and developed a whole new respect for the doctors and nurses who fight every day to alleviate suffering, sometimes against the most horrific odds. There are also some pertinent points made about the way the NHS has been politicised by the government and the changes that are being made against all common sense. It's nice to here a doctor's view of these issues rather than just the political spin placed on it for the media. All in all, this is a great little read; amusing, informative, eye-opening and full of heart.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I love all things medical
I love all things medical, and found this a very interesting read. Enjoyable way to pass a couple of hours.
Published 21 days ago by Val B
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book which goes through the daily thoughts and events ...
Good book which goes through the daily thoughts and events of a newly qualified doctor. A must read for new F1s.
Published 23 days ago by Ms. Olivia C. Watts
4.0 out of 5 stars great read
This was also very well written, gave an accurate account of life as a junior doctor. The only complaint was you were left wondering about their personal lives sometimes, he gave... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Carolyn nolan
5.0 out of 5 stars An inspired choice!
Having not met my god-daughter's boyfriend before - what to buy him for Christmas? As he is a medical student this was perfect.
Published 6 months ago by J A Stone
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Very funny and easy to read giving you a real insight into what its like for a junior doctor just starting out. Well worth a read.
Published 8 months ago by Pip
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant
A realistic view into life of a busy first year doctor with all it's hi lights and pitfalls a great read .
Published 10 months ago by amboangel
5.0 out of 5 stars Jnr Doctor
I bought this book as a present but ended up keeping it as, as soon as I started to read a bit of it I just couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Christine O
5.0 out of 5 stars Trust me, im a (Junior) Doctor
A frank account of a junior doctors first year. One minute you'll be laughing out loud at his anecdotes. Read more
Published 13 months ago by kellie archer
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible!
I'm not normally a big reader but after being recommended this book I thought I would give it a go. This has by far got to be the BEST book I have read in my teenage years so far! Read more
Published 13 months ago by ALISHAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
This seemed very realistic and down to earth tale of being a junior doctor. Thought provoking and funny throughout the book
Published 13 months ago by Lesley
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