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Red Blanket: An uncensored memoir that reveals the underbelly of surgical training

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30 review for Red Blanket: An uncensored memoir that reveals the underbelly of surgical training

  1. 4 out of 5

    India M. Clamp

    A doctor's life is a hushed thing. Imagine being in a profession where any perceived, real or imaginary malady can/will be used against you often to expose, humiliate and shame you in the utterly competitive world of medicine. Not uncommon that memoirs are written at the end of a physicians career. After retirement, there is no worry of retaliation and the work friends flutter off into their own oblivion never to be heard from again. “Some will actually help you (especially the nurses). But other A doctor's life is a hushed thing. Imagine being in a profession where any perceived, real or imaginary malady can/will be used against you often to expose, humiliate and shame you in the utterly competitive world of medicine. Not uncommon that memoirs are written at the end of a physicians career. After retirement, there is no worry of retaliation and the work friends flutter off into their own oblivion never to be heard from again. “Some will actually help you (especially the nurses). But others will obstruct and frustrate the shit out of you every chance they get. They hate us. They think we’re spoiled, privileged brats…which, of course, some of us are.” ---Dr. John Harch Imagine a patient that was to the point of mental torture that she chewed off her own cheek. The case of the incarcerated man prisoner who downed tattoo needles---as if they were an ice cup of water in the middle of the Sahara desert. Many medical cases may be discovered in Dr. John Harch’s retirement testament to his survival in a hostile environment may be recalled in Red Blanket— they did happen. In Harch’s “Red Blanket” black humor is not in short supply nor is the wisdom learned from the many cases. It seems hell was found during his training at the infamous L.A. hospital---when band Depeche Mode had started. Harch is a general surgeon and tells of battling with drugged up patients and communicating dissatisfaction with a fist. Educated at The David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Dr. Harch grew up in Orange, California. A door opened after he ruptured his spleen from a dive out of a tree. Saved by a friend (general surgeon). His surgical residency was affected at the L.A. County/USC Medical Center. Most of the cases are from that time. From dishwasher to general surgeon is quite a leap and within we find some clues. Read, recommend and learn. --- Das Leben eines arztes ist eine gedämpfte sache, wenn sie sich vorstellen, in einem beruf zu sein, in dem jede wahrgenommene, reale oder imaginäre Krankheit häufig gegen Sie eingesetzt werden kann und wird, um Sie in der äußerst wettbewerbsintensiven Welt der medizin zu entlarven, zu demütigen und zu beschämen. Es ist nicht ungewöhnlich, dass memoiren am ende einer arztkarriere geschrieben werden. Nach der pensionierung gibt es keine angst vor vergeltungsmaßnahmen und die Arbeitsfreunde flattern in ihre eigene vergessenheit, von der sie nie wieder etwas zu hören bekommen. "Einige werden dir tatsächlich helfen, besonders die Krankenschwestern. Aber andere werden dich bei jeder gelegenheit behindern und frustrieren. Sie hassen uns. Sie denken, wir sind verwöhnte, privilegierte gören ... was natürlich einige von uns sind. " ---Arzt John Harch Stellen Sie sich eine patientin vor, die bis zur mentalen Folter war und sich die Wange abkaute. Der Fall des inhaftierten gefangenen, der tätowierungsnadeln niedergeschlagen hat - als wäre es ein Eisbecher Wasser mitten in der Sahara. Viele medizinische fälle, die in Dr. John Harchs Ruhestandstestament für sein Überleben in einer feindlichen umgebung entdeckt wurden, können in "Red Blanket" zurückgerufen werden - sie sind tatsächlich aufgetreten. Im Harchs "Red Blanket" ist schwarzer humor weder Mangelware noch die weisheit, die aus den vielen Fällen gelernt wurde. Es scheint, dass die Hölle während seines trainings im berüchtigten LA-krankenhaus gefunden wurde - als die band Depeche Mode begonnen hatte. Harch ist allgemeinchirurg und erzählt von kämpfen mit unter drogen stehenden patienten, die unzufriedenheit mit der faust kommunizieren. Dr. Harch wurde an der "David Geffen School of Medicine der UCLA" ausgebildet und wuchs in Orange, Kalifornien, auf. Eine tür öffnete sich, nachdem er sich bei einem sprung aus einem baum die Milz gebrochen hatte. Von einem freund (Allgemeinchirurg) gerettet. Sein aufenthalt war am L.A. County / USC Medical Center für seinen chirurgischen aufenthalt betroffen. Die meisten fälle stammen aus dieser zeit. Von der spülmaschine zum allgemeinchirurgen ist ein ziemlicher sprung und darin finden wir einige Hinweise. Lesen, empfehlen und lernen.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Left Coast Justin

    Three stars, in this case, means that it's about average for the genre. The fact is, I love reading books like this, so I had a lot of fun with it. While it's pretty well-written, there's a few things about it that prevent me from awarding it a higher rating. One of the interesting things presented here is the difference in atmosphere across various hospital departments. One can well imagine that pediatrics units tend to be filled with cheerful people (defined as people who are unflappable in the Three stars, in this case, means that it's about average for the genre. The fact is, I love reading books like this, so I had a lot of fun with it. While it's pretty well-written, there's a few things about it that prevent me from awarding it a higher rating. One of the interesting things presented here is the difference in atmosphere across various hospital departments. One can well imagine that pediatrics units tend to be filled with cheerful people (defined as people who are unflappable in the face of dozens of screaming babies) while oncology wards are more, shall we say, reflective. It turns out that neurology wards are the most depressing places in the hospital: The moment I arrived, a nurse rushed up to me and announced that Mrs. Thomas wasn't taking her feeding well. Mrs. Thomas was a 75-year-old lady who had suffered a stroke about 10 days ago, leaving her unable to move her right arm or leg...I dragged myself into the room and observed Mrs. Thomas sitting in a specially designed chair to help the semiconscious sit upright. Her face showed no emotion. Her eyes were half open. There was a young nurse's aid sitting beside her, spooning something into her mouth. After each spoonful, the gruel would dribble out and run down Mrs. Thomas's chin... I reached down and lifted the vital signs sheet. Yep, all the vital signs looked good through the night, right up to about an hour ago. I reached over to Mrs. Thomas, slowly placing the pad of my index finger on her forearm, then removing it. That was all the examination I needed to do. "Stop," I said. "Stop feeding the patient." The aide looked at me vacuously, mid-chin scrape, and stopped. In a monotone, I said very slowly, "The reason Mrs. Thomas isn't taking her feedings well this morning...is because...she is dead.". While I came away with the impression that Dr. Harch is good to his patients and prides himself on his sympathy with people from different backgrounds, the book is dripping with 1980's frat-boy outlook. Yes, he had the good grace to break up with his long-term girlfriend for two weeks so he could fuck the hot-looking blonde nurse with seams running up the back of her stockings, but then ruefully concluded he'd made a mistake and patched things up with his girlfriend. What a guy! And he's a repeat offender of telling stories about injuries sustained during gay sex, which I guess he finds funny because...you know....gay sex. (The incidents took place in Los Angeles in the 1980's, one of the HIV hotspots of the world, but that was only worth mentioning when he was personally threatened by it.) Finally, there's a running joke about his conversations with a hospital clerk named Mr. Patel, who tells fun stories of human suffering and degradation. But enough complaints. Being a doctor is hard, and becoming a doctor is even harder, and I am grateful that Dr. Harch and his peers have the work ethic and discipline to make such a huge difference in people's lives. Most of his stories are interesting and thoughtfully presented.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kkraemer

    Upon graduation from UCLA med, John Harch entered a 5 year residency at LA county/USC hospital. This hospital is both a "teaching" hospital and the hospital most used for patients who are indigent, terribly traumatized, and/or in police custody. It's a huge hospital, one where 5 - 10 serious stab wounds are normal each day (in addition to people who have been shot, poisoned, drugged, injured in car accidents --often including being run over--, or otherwise brutalized by existence) In many ways, i Upon graduation from UCLA med, John Harch entered a 5 year residency at LA county/USC hospital. This hospital is both a "teaching" hospital and the hospital most used for patients who are indigent, terribly traumatized, and/or in police custody. It's a huge hospital, one where 5 - 10 serious stab wounds are normal each day (in addition to people who have been shot, poisoned, drugged, injured in car accidents --often including being run over--, or otherwise brutalized by existence) In many ways, it's the best training a surgeon could possibly get. In many ways, though, it's utterly overwhelming. Dr. Harch kept a journal of these years and weaves his notes with his memories. What emerges is not only a chronicle of the utter craziness of a residency in such a facility, but the human adjustments that one has to make when one is responsible for others' lives, regardless of the circumstance. He tells stories of many patients, both sympathetic and outrageous, and of his own reactions to the patients, the system, his colleagues, and his own moral compass. Dr. Harch is a good writer and, I'm sure, a great surgeon. This is the kind of book we all wish someone would write...sooner or later, we'll all need a surgeon, and having a sense of their background will make us all more knowing when that day comes.

  4. 4 out of 5

    annemarie Latimer

    Really good book about medical and surgical training training.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Harley

    Couldn’t put this down I love books about medical stuff. I will read pretty much anything, no matter how well or poorly written, in order to experience the life of medical personnel vicariously. This book was so enjoyable; well-written, terrifying, hilarious and ultimately humble. I wanna be friends with Dr. Harch, and you will too when you read this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Helen Smith

    Fabulous read! I loved this book! The stories are funny, sad and all so interesting. I'm always curious about what happens in big hospitals, this book told me everything I ever wanted to know. Fabulous read! I loved this book! The stories are funny, sad and all so interesting. I'm always curious about what happens in big hospitals, this book told me everything I ever wanted to know.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Claudia And

    Great insight into what it takes to be a surgeon. This book hit me hard. I was an RN nurse practitioner working at UCLA in the early 70’s when the idea of a nurse doing a lot of tasks and making decisions normally only doctors made was new. I dated and later married an MD who interned at LA County USC. I heard a lot of stories about the workload and was horrified about the human cost of working these young men and women so hard. I’m so glad Doctor Harch chose life over slavery even though I’m su Great insight into what it takes to be a surgeon. This book hit me hard. I was an RN nurse practitioner working at UCLA in the early 70’s when the idea of a nurse doing a lot of tasks and making decisions normally only doctors made was new. I dated and later married an MD who interned at LA County USC. I heard a lot of stories about the workload and was horrified about the human cost of working these young men and women so hard. I’m so glad Doctor Harch chose life over slavery even though I’m sure it made him a great physician in the end. I’m glad he has a beautiful life in the Mt. Shasta area now. Great read! I couldn’t put it down.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Kelley Crumpler

    I laughed, I cried, I laughed more... ..and couldn’t put this down! As a longtime nurse, avid reader, and lover of dark humor, this book truly spoke to me. Dr Harch’s recollections, inner dialogue, interactions and experiences are truly a work of art, and I am so glad he put these on paper for the world to enjoy. Whether you are in the medical field or not, you’ll enjoy his journey, and end the book with a big smile. Thank you for sharing this with us, Dr & Dr Mrs Harch!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Mary Williams

    Great read and learned alot too.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jonah

    Wow I never know how much work it takes to become a Doctor. The idea of working 110 hrs a week impresses the hell out of me, but I guess if you're doing what you love it has its upsides. Wow I never know how much work it takes to become a Doctor. The idea of working 110 hrs a week impresses the hell out of me, but I guess if you're doing what you love it has its upsides.

  11. 5 out of 5

    MB

    The story had me immediately. I couldn’t put it down. It is not highly technical, but a story we can all follow, complete with exploits on the basketball court and finding a relationship to bring meaning to his life. I am not in the medical industry, and it gave me a glimpse into how hospitals generally operate. I expect that folks in the medical industry would enjoy the stories and find bits and pieces that they relate to. Both my husband and I read and have recommended to friends. All came bac The story had me immediately. I couldn’t put it down. It is not highly technical, but a story we can all follow, complete with exploits on the basketball court and finding a relationship to bring meaning to his life. I am not in the medical industry, and it gave me a glimpse into how hospitals generally operate. I expect that folks in the medical industry would enjoy the stories and find bits and pieces that they relate to. Both my husband and I read and have recommended to friends. All came back to us with the same “couldn’t put it down”. comment. They also indicated that they had found it compelling enough to pass it along to friends or family. MB

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rita Soule

  13. 4 out of 5

    Ian A Umbach

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandy Guthorn

  16. 4 out of 5

    Suellen Bobalik

  17. 4 out of 5

    Matthew Ondrejka

  18. 5 out of 5

    Maria acuna

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kari

  20. 5 out of 5

    Blaine Penny

  21. 5 out of 5

    Katie

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ronald H. Getty

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gail Greaves

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ann Palentyn

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lloyd Hope

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlyn

  27. 5 out of 5

    Susan K Page

  28. 5 out of 5

    Charles B

  29. 4 out of 5

    Cindy Katz

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben Saul

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