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4.0 out of 5 stars The life and times of first year docs, 21 July 2007
This review is from: The Intern Blues: The Timeless Classic about the Making of a Doctor (Paperback)
According to legend the Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick II once locked up various children and forbade anyone to speak to them to see what the original language God gave to man was. However, before any of the children managed to speak they all perished with chroniclers of the time putting their deaths down to neglect. The interns of Intern Blues certainly seem to try and test the theory of killing children by neglect. The story traces the lives of 3 interns in 80s America as they make their way through their first year of being a doctor. I'm not a doctor (yet) so I can't qualify the accuracy of their experience but even so it is one worth reading about. In fairness to them their under extraordinary pressure and left almost stranded alone most of the time and in writing a journal it's almost hard not to put yourself at the centre. Whilst, one hopes that doctors would do all they can for their patients it's not always possible and whilst the interns are a little annoying they do seem basically like nice people being broken down by the system. The book tells of harrowing nights on call, situations where they've been left in charge of whole wards of children who seem determined to die and other such experiences showing the extraordinary stress placed on their lives.

In the introduction it states that this book is aimed at those who know interns in order to give them some experience of what they're going through, and whilst it's a laudable aim the poor way in which medical terminology is explained may be a little off putting. Admittedly its still possible to read the book without knowing what the medical jargon is, what does get a little grating though is the poor style in which the book is written and the fact that all but one intern is incredibly annoying, none more so than Amy whose constant whinging makes reading her experiences rather tiresome. However this is still an valuable book for those that know people in the medical field or for those that enter people in the medical field.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A hauntingly accurate representation of internship, 22 Feb. 1998
By A Customer
During medical school I was given "The Intern Blues" by a friend (we were both interested in pediatrics). I could not believe that what was in the book really happened, because the problems and stresses appeared to be impossible for anyone to undertake. During my internship in pediatrics, however, I reread the book and was amazed to find that it was 100% factual, from the patient AND physician standpoint. As a Chief Resident in pediatrics as a teaching hospital I have recommended it to the interns, to let them know that what they are experiencing is not unusual, and that they are not alone. I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in medicine (especially pediatrics), and for the families of medical students and residents, as it can help them understand the many personality and life style changes that accompany internship and residency. This book is a MUST READ for anyone contemplating pediatric residency.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An honest and real novel which I thoroughly enjoyed, 25 April 1999
By A Customer
I am sixteen years old and I want to become a doctor and this book has been perfect for me to read. What a wonderful idea for a book that Dr. Marion thought of-- by taking a diary of 3 different interns and showing how their internship truly is. It's just an excellent book, one that took me just a week to read. As I read this book, I felt like I was beginning to personally know these three interns through their good times and struggles. I look forward to reading the sequel. I would really like to know what Amy, Mark, and Andy are doing now and how they feel about this book. Excellent job, Dr. Marion!
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right on the nose, 28 May 1999
By A Customer
As a third year resident in pediatrics, I re-read this book. I read it initially as a premed student, and I couldn't wait to live it myself. Having lived it, I'm glad I san say that I am part of a rich alumni of former interns. However, my second year was more grueling than the first. Insted of being the intern, I was supervising the interns, as well as the ICU's, My only criticism of the book is that Marion seemed to select 3 ultra whiners for his subjects. Maybe it's an East Coast thing, but even after a horrible call night or some terrible deaths, my colleagues and I rarely achieved this level of whining and self pity. Suggestion : Do a book at a Big Ten School !
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