Hot Best Seller

This Won't Hurt a Bit: (And Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood

Availability: Ready to download

Michelle Au started medical school armed only with a surfeit of idealism, a handful of old ER episodes for reference, and some vague notion about "helping people." This Won't Hurt a Bit is the story of how she grew up and became a real doctor. It's a no-holds-barred account of what a modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous, from the heartwarmin Michelle Au started medical school armed only with a surfeit of idealism, a handful of old ER episodes for reference, and some vague notion about "helping people." This Won't Hurt a Bit is the story of how she grew up and became a real doctor. It's a no-holds-barred account of what a modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous, from the heartwarming to the obscene. Unlike most medical memoirs, however, this one details the author's struggles to maintain a life outside of the hospital, in the small amount of free time she had to live it. And, after she and her husband have a baby early in both their medical residencies, Au explores the demands of being a parent with those of a physician, two all-consuming jobs in which the lives of others are very literally in her hands. Au's stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking and hit every note in between, proving more than anything that the creation of a new doctor (and a new parent) is far messier, far more uncertain, and far more gratifying than one could ever expect.


Compare

Michelle Au started medical school armed only with a surfeit of idealism, a handful of old ER episodes for reference, and some vague notion about "helping people." This Won't Hurt a Bit is the story of how she grew up and became a real doctor. It's a no-holds-barred account of what a modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous, from the heartwarmin Michelle Au started medical school armed only with a surfeit of idealism, a handful of old ER episodes for reference, and some vague notion about "helping people." This Won't Hurt a Bit is the story of how she grew up and became a real doctor. It's a no-holds-barred account of what a modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous, from the heartwarming to the obscene. Unlike most medical memoirs, however, this one details the author's struggles to maintain a life outside of the hospital, in the small amount of free time she had to live it. And, after she and her husband have a baby early in both their medical residencies, Au explores the demands of being a parent with those of a physician, two all-consuming jobs in which the lives of others are very literally in her hands. Au's stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking and hit every note in between, proving more than anything that the creation of a new doctor (and a new parent) is far messier, far more uncertain, and far more gratifying than one could ever expect.

30 review for This Won't Hurt a Bit: (And Other White Lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood

  1. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Even better than your favorite episodes of ER or Grey's Anatomy, THIS WON'T HURT A BIT packs in all the elements of a truly great read---I laughed, I cried, I cringed and cheered, I learned a lot, and when I finished, I was preoccupied with a sense of awe from the experience for days. In fact, I wish I knew Michelle Au personally so I could call her and say, Tell me more.―Lisa Genova, New York Times-bestselling author of Still Alice and Left Neglected

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    I am a huge Michelle Au blog fan, have been reading her since she was in medical school, so I couldn't wait to grab her book. The good: this is a very clear layout of medical training. Excellent for families of medical students who can't quite understand, no matter how many times it is explained, what exactly a resident is. Also, Au is quite brave in talking about the truth of doctor motivation - that we are not machines, we also have other concerns in life, and that medicine is not everything. I am a huge Michelle Au blog fan, have been reading her since she was in medical school, so I couldn't wait to grab her book. The good: this is a very clear layout of medical training. Excellent for families of medical students who can't quite understand, no matter how many times it is explained, what exactly a resident is. Also, Au is quite brave in talking about the truth of doctor motivation - that we are not machines, we also have other concerns in life, and that medicine is not everything. This is such a taboo statement in medicine - she is amazing for admitting this in print, going against the grain of a brutal medical culture. The bad: Where are Michelle's cartoons? Part of how she got famous was by drawing very funny cartoons about the medical education experience. The publisher didn't even use them as chapter headings? Really? This plays over into a deeper problem, which looks to me like over-editing in an attempt to make a clear, linear, coherent narrative. In this editing, a lot of Michelle got edited out. Her blog is so great because of the eclecticism of topics, her wry and biting humor, and her snippets of life/dialogue (with patients, bosses, her husband, her kids). None of that was present in the book. That doesn't make a it bad book, just a very different book than her usual writing. Her more spontaneous writing is much more lively, quirky, and fun. This book is rather expository. It's an excellent explanation of the doctor training process, but Michelle's voice is somewhat lost, and that's the best thing about her. Where'd she go? I'd recommend the book, and wish Michelle all the success in the world, and may push it on family members so they can quit asking me what an intern/resident/fellow is, but to get a more idiosyncratic (rather than generic house officer tale), check out her blog. I think they over-polished her work, or made her do it, and I think a lot of her liveliness, sense of humor, and earthiness was unfortunately lost.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Himali

    I’ve been reading Michelle Au’s blog for the past several years---before she went into Anesthesia, before she had her first child. I remember first coming across her blog through her scutmonkey comics. I imagine this is the way most medical students start reading her blog. Her irreverent commentary about the absurdities of medical school clerkships made me laugh out in quiet libraries, where I was supposed to be memorizing pharmacology or something. When she announced on her blog that she had wr I’ve been reading Michelle Au’s blog for the past several years---before she went into Anesthesia, before she had her first child. I remember first coming across her blog through her scutmonkey comics. I imagine this is the way most medical students start reading her blog. Her irreverent commentary about the absurdities of medical school clerkships made me laugh out in quiet libraries, where I was supposed to be memorizing pharmacology or something. When she announced on her blog that she had written a book, I knew I would eventually read it---though I didn’t imagine myself running out to buy it. I did finally pick it up yesterday. Essentially the book outlines her journey through medicine. Long time readers of her blog will find many of the stories in her book very familiar. To be honest, I was a little disappointed by the lack of new stories. It’s written in a somewhat choppy style, some parts vignettes of her clinical experience, others dialogue of something funny or silly. It’s very much in the style of her blog. Though some of the new stories feel a bit like filler, others are engaging. Though she’s probably most known for her acerbic sense of humor, she’s also surprisingly good with sentiment. Stories that particularly stand out are her experiences during 9/11, and her summation of the journey of a tentative medical student to a confident attending. A good book, though I wouldn’t call it a modern day “House of God”.

  4. 4 out of 5

    William

    I mostly enjoyed the book but could not give it a five. There were some things in the book that irked me on a personal and professional level. I will not elaborate but it goes back to the expectations of peoples roles in medicine. On the flip side, it was entertaining as it brought back memories of my medical training. Granted, Dr. Au went to a more "prestigious" school than I and attended a much busier residency than I, a lot of the experiences mirrored each other. The doubt of ones abilities, I mostly enjoyed the book but could not give it a five. There were some things in the book that irked me on a personal and professional level. I will not elaborate but it goes back to the expectations of peoples roles in medicine. On the flip side, it was entertaining as it brought back memories of my medical training. Granted, Dr. Au went to a more "prestigious" school than I and attended a much busier residency than I, a lot of the experiences mirrored each other. The doubt of ones abilities, the fear, the naivety, are all the same. We (physicians) have all seen the patients she describes and felt elation or heartache at various outcomes. I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone interested in medical training or anyone that has walked in those shoes.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ekmef

    This book has been on my want-to-read list for ages. I’m happy I could finally get my hands on it - it’s an amazing book. It is very realistic about medical training, but it’s not realistic in a gallows humor kind of way like so many books tend to do. Dr Au just shows us what it’s like, the good and the bad, while being very respectful towards patients. This book addresses the central question of everyone who is in the process of becoming a doctor - how do I ever get to the point of not being ‘a This book has been on my want-to-read list for ages. I’m happy I could finally get my hands on it - it’s an amazing book. It is very realistic about medical training, but it’s not realistic in a gallows humor kind of way like so many books tend to do. Dr Au just shows us what it’s like, the good and the bad, while being very respectful towards patients. This book addresses the central question of everyone who is in the process of becoming a doctor - how do I ever get to the point of not being ‘afraid’ anymore, how do I grow to be a doctor in mindset. A perfect read for everyone who is about to start residency!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    A must read for every medical student.

  7. 4 out of 5

    DW

    Well, I learned a lot, some of which I wish I hadn't. It filled in some gaps. So that's what a residency is. So that's why medical students look slightly embarrassed to be in the room with me and the doctor (and that's why one fell asleep while I was giving my history). So that's why that injection was a 15-minute nightmare of the resident scraping the needle along my bone searching for my joint - it was July and the ink probably wasn't dry on her diploma. (I know you have to learn, but do you h Well, I learned a lot, some of which I wish I hadn't. It filled in some gaps. So that's what a residency is. So that's why medical students look slightly embarrassed to be in the room with me and the doctor (and that's why one fell asleep while I was giving my history). So that's why that injection was a 15-minute nightmare of the resident scraping the needle along my bone searching for my joint - it was July and the ink probably wasn't dry on her diploma. (I know you have to learn, but do you have to learn on *me*?) So that's how doctors get to the point where they can joke about other things while intubating a dying woman whose family is outside the room sobbing. One thing I don't understand is why doctors-in-training are required to work such long hours, even while sick, making life and death decisions while chronically sleep deprived. Laws limit the number of consecutive hours truck drivers and pilots can work, because their sleep deprivation can kill people. Clearly, doctor's mistakes also have the opportunity to kill people. The only reason I've heard is that residents must work many hours in order to get adequate clinical experience. In this book, Michelle notes that what she learned in her pediatric residency was completely useless when she started anesthesiology. Okay, she switched specialties, but is it possible that we're over-educating doctors? This book was very well-written, with the author expressing a lot of compassion for the patients (except the ones used as examples during "pimping" - Janine Shepherd wrote in her book that she hated feeling like a curiosity in a museum). Interesting points to think about were that nurses defer quicker to male doctors, jobs not requiring night call and weekends are derisively called "mommy" jobs, pediatricians do seem to be nicer than most doctors, she struggled with leaving her baby with a stranger in order to care for other people, harvesting organs can be very unsettling (they don't worry about healing or scarring because the patient is already brain dead), and parents come to the pediatric ER for trivial things (which she couldn't understand until she became a parent herself). As far as the writing goes, I liked that she never stated the race of her patients, but that it could come across in the description of their families, their names, and how they talked. I noticed that she described a couple patients as "pleasant" and couldn't help wondering if she meant the word as most people use it, or as the boilerplate that is put in most patients' charts if they are not screaming obscenities. My takeaway point: stay out of the hospital, especially in July.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Doris Dvonch

    I'd been meaning to pick this up after being a fan of her blog, The Underwear Drawer, for years. If you're not used to her writing, you might think she's super pretentious and pedantic. Well, ok, she is. But, she's funny! Too bad this book is edited in such a way that makes her sound a lot less funny than she really is. I guess this is a good book for people interested in med school and want to have babies at some point (re: subtitle). Unfortunately, the book documents more of the med school/res I'd been meaning to pick this up after being a fan of her blog, The Underwear Drawer, for years. If you're not used to her writing, you might think she's super pretentious and pedantic. Well, ok, she is. But, she's funny! Too bad this book is edited in such a way that makes her sound a lot less funny than she really is. I guess this is a good book for people interested in med school and want to have babies at some point (re: subtitle). Unfortunately, the book documents more of the med school/residency hell than the motherhood part. Maybe 25% is about being a mom. I recommend reading this and then combing through her blog which is a lot funnier and has more personal anecdotes about motherhood.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rita Ciresi

    This "how I became a doctor" tale starts off breezy and comic, but halfway through--after the author becomes pregnant--it settles into an insightful look at how to balance medicine and motherhood. I enjoyed reading each of the short vignettes that focused on caring for extremely ill patients.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Lew

    A solid 3.5 stars. Some parts poignant and well-written, some parts a bit hackneyed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    It was fine. Cute stories. But I don't really care about how you become a medical professional and there wasn't an overarching plot driving me to read the end, so I quit at about page 120.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Benjamin

    Entertaining, insightful, and captures the struggle of balancing work with family.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kadie Bennion

    Some of the stories in here really rang true. Good read but didn't care for the author's use of profanity.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    It takes a certain personality type to withstand the brutal years of medical school, residency and the lifelong commitment the profession of medicine requires. Dr. Michelle Au shares her journey through the process of medical certification, complicated by marriage and motherhood, in this warm and gently witty memoir. Michelle writes of the mind-numbing sameness of the first two years of study, the sheer grind of learning facts and figures and then the unexpected terror when confronted with real l It takes a certain personality type to withstand the brutal years of medical school, residency and the lifelong commitment the profession of medicine requires. Dr. Michelle Au shares her journey through the process of medical certification, complicated by marriage and motherhood, in this warm and gently witty memoir. Michelle writes of the mind-numbing sameness of the first two years of study, the sheer grind of learning facts and figures and then the unexpected terror when confronted with real live subjects in third and fourth years. On her first day she interviews a patient who believes he is the son of God and witnesses another patient's enraged tantrum, but to follow are moments of awe and silliness. Michelle shares the stories of the patients and events that affected her, both tragic, including the horror of 9/11, and amusing. Au communicates the pressures of her role, but never loses respect for what she doesn't know, and it's this rather surprisingly humble attitude that makes her story appealing. As the shiny idealism wanes, Au speaks more frankly about what happens behind the scenes, her patients, the medical procedures she is involved in and her own changing perspective, particularly after the birth of her child and her decision to change specialties from pediatrics to anesthesiology. Michelle's pregnancy and motherhood is a complication, and Au continues to work hard to make sure both her career and her child get the attention they need. Sometimes the balance is uneven but it is not all that different from any working parents experience, though the pressures are perhaps more intense. Au gives glimpses of her struggle- child care issues, pumping in bathroom stalls, and wistful conversations with her son - but it is her medical experiences that continue to be the most interesting. Drawn from her blog entries during the years her book covers, the stories have an immediacy that gives a sense of authenticity and allows the reader to partake of her journey vicariously. This Won't Hurt A Bit is a well written and entertaining account of Dr. Michelle Au's experience of training to become a doctor. Now an anesthesiologist in Atlanta, Georgia, with two boys she continues to share her story at theunderweardrawer.blogspot.com

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lily E

    I believe every young doctor or medical student (or ones aspiring to become one) like to read stories and memoirs about working physicians and life on the hospital. It’s just like watching old ER or the more recent House and Grey’s Anatomy, only better because it’s in book form. I say this as a young doctor myself, 3 years fresh of my graduation, and been devouring medical related books and shows for the good past 10 years. Michelle Au’s memoir spans from her first day at medical school to the en I believe every young doctor or medical student (or ones aspiring to become one) like to read stories and memoirs about working physicians and life on the hospital. It’s just like watching old ER or the more recent House and Grey’s Anatomy, only better because it’s in book form. I say this as a young doctor myself, 3 years fresh of my graduation, and been devouring medical related books and shows for the good past 10 years. Michelle Au’s memoir spans from her first day at medical school to the end of her specialization in Anesthesia, following a brief passage through Pediatrics. United States medical training may differ from what I experienced myself, but there is a lot in common, mainly the feeling – the insecurities of the first times along with the joys of the first triumphs, the comradeship and rivalries, the good and bad mentors, the coming of age in a profession that you never feel ready to take on alone. And that’s why it’s so good to read these books – they make you feel like you’re not alone. Au’s telling is fun and fast paced, and keeps you reading late at night, her telling of experiences fresh and engaging. But this isn’t only a book about medicine and becoming a doctor. This is also a book on love, on the growing of this feeling and blossoming into offspring. Michelle’s first son is featured prominently and he’s there to teach us all some lessons: 1. You can be an intern and have a child (yes, you may still not want to, but it’s possible, withstanding the difficulties); 2. Even a pediatrician freaks about her kid – you can freak about yours too, just keep in mind your doctor’s advice regarding going to the hospital ER. I still found lessons to take from this book, and I think you’ll find some to, pick it from the shelf as it’s a very fine summer reading – or cozy winter reading, if you’re on the South hemisphere!

  16. 4 out of 5

    A. S.

    "This won't hurt a bit" by Michelle Au is a memoir about going to medical school and becoming a doctor. First of: Medicine tends to be a depressing profession, unless spending your days caring for the physically sick patients and interacting with their emotionally sick relatives is your idea of fun. But the surprising thing is, aside from some seriously sad stories, Michelle keeps her writing light and even manages to laugh at herself in the process. The book recounts the author's four years in "This won't hurt a bit" by Michelle Au is a memoir about going to medical school and becoming a doctor. First of: Medicine tends to be a depressing profession, unless spending your days caring for the physically sick patients and interacting with their emotionally sick relatives is your idea of fun. But the surprising thing is, aside from some seriously sad stories, Michelle keeps her writing light and even manages to laugh at herself in the process. The book recounts the author's four years in medical school, and five years of residency (two of which she spent as a pediatrician, and three of which she spends as an anesthesiologist after deciding to switch her career goals) in New York hospitals. Growing up in a family of doctors, it was a natural choice for Michelle to become a doctor herself--despite her father's warnings. It's only after she interns for the first time that she re-considers her career choice, asking herself what she's gotten into. The decision to become a doctor is an important step for any future doctor, and Michelle certainly doesn't take hers lightly. Anecdotes of her initial cluelessness and physical exhaustion at being on-call twenty-four/seven follow. This is a good book for any medical students or people considering joining the field, as Michelle includes a lot of information about both the training and the typical days on the job. On the other hand, it's also an interesting memoir. Au writes about the hardship of balancing her demanding job and the responsibilities of being a mother, with a husband who is also in the medical field and rarely home. It's an intricate look at the behind-the-scenes life of a medical professional.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    One problem I often have with memoirs is that they seem self-absorbed. The other is that they sound whiny. I mean realistically, few people write memoirs that can be sub-titled "My wonderful pain-free life". Still Dr. Au manages for the most part to avoid both. Yes, this is her story, and no, she doesn't sugar-coat the rigors of residency, especially residency as the mother of an infant, but she doesn't come across as asking for sympathy for poor little her or as railing against the big bad esta One problem I often have with memoirs is that they seem self-absorbed. The other is that they sound whiny. I mean realistically, few people write memoirs that can be sub-titled "My wonderful pain-free life". Still Dr. Au manages for the most part to avoid both. Yes, this is her story, and no, she doesn't sugar-coat the rigors of residency, especially residency as the mother of an infant, but she doesn't come across as asking for sympathy for poor little her or as railing against the big bad establishment which is causing her so much pain. She shares some funny stories--she enjoyed labor (after the epidural) because it allowed her to lay around in bed all day watching TV and some serious ones--commenting on the lack of casualties to treat after 9-11 (what a thing to read today). As someone who has made certain career decisions, primarily the decision not to pursue a high-powered, highly paid career, so as to be available to my children, I found it interesting to read how she and her husband (also a resident) managed as the parents of a young child, and was glad to see that once her residency was over, she chose a job that would allow her time at home. I guess though that she is one of those classic over-achievers, since she managed to write a book in her spare time. If you are interested in how your doctor was trained, I think you'll enjoy this book. Grade: B. I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ariana C.

    Considering I have never read a memoir, Michelle Au made me find my favorite kind of genre of novels. I have always wondered what the exact procedure for medical school is like and this book made me find my answer. As a person who aspires to go into the medical field, this made me want to pursue this profession. Au explains what the residency and internships are like as she becomes more tiresome each day. The perpetual lifestyle of saving someones life or being the person who kills the patient i Considering I have never read a memoir, Michelle Au made me find my favorite kind of genre of novels. I have always wondered what the exact procedure for medical school is like and this book made me find my answer. As a person who aspires to go into the medical field, this made me want to pursue this profession. Au explains what the residency and internships are like as she becomes more tiresome each day. The perpetual lifestyle of saving someones life or being the person who kills the patient is traumatizing, especially for Au who was pregnant during her career. Her emotions were everywhere; from not seeing her husband as much as she would like, firing her nanny and being exhausted, made her the stronger doctor she is today. As the motherhood and nonstop work is what she does to balance her life to provide for her family, her husband, who is also in the medical field, is hardly home due to his constant work. The both of them work together to make their marriage work and somewhat find time for one another. This book is wonderful for those who are interested in the medical field (high schoolers) or even adults who love the trembling feeling of heartbreaking stories.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I came across Michelle Au's blog several months ago and decided to buy her first book to read on our vacation to Europe. It breezes through her first two years of medical school in quick succession, and spends only slight more time on her second two years of rotations. The primary focus of the book is on her 5 years in residency -- 2 in pediatrics followed by another 3 in anesthesia after she decided peds wasn't for her. She had a baby just as she switched residencies, which made things even mor I came across Michelle Au's blog several months ago and decided to buy her first book to read on our vacation to Europe. It breezes through her first two years of medical school in quick succession, and spends only slight more time on her second two years of rotations. The primary focus of the book is on her 5 years in residency -- 2 in pediatrics followed by another 3 in anesthesia after she decided peds wasn't for her. She had a baby just as she switched residencies, which made things even more interesting. Her husband is also a doctor, which makes life even crazier for them. Although the storyline jumps around a bit and doesn't always flow well, I still enjoyed this book a lot. There's a good mix of seriousness and comedy, and it's interesting to read about the medical field from the point of view of a young mom trying to "have it all" in a decidedly not-family-friendly and male-dominated profession.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Rochelle Erickson

    This book is so funny and so honest. It is a great look at the lives that medical students/residents and their spouses experience. It also is a very real look at women who work hard to achieve careers that have a very long, very hard, and very expensive roads with a slow monetary payout that might not slow down until their 40s or 50s. How do these women balance the desire for children and families with the passion for medicine and wanting to actually participate in the career they have worked so This book is so funny and so honest. It is a great look at the lives that medical students/residents and their spouses experience. It also is a very real look at women who work hard to achieve careers that have a very long, very hard, and very expensive roads with a slow monetary payout that might not slow down until their 40s or 50s. How do these women balance the desire for children and families with the passion for medicine and wanting to actually participate in the career they have worked so long and hard for? This is Michelle's story of how she experienced medical school and residency and beyond while meeting her husband and having children. The writing was funny, poignant, and easy to read (she makes the medicine accessible to the layman). I highly recommend to anyone who is in medicine or loves someone in a medical career. It will help you understand the highs and lows of the long road.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Liz B

    This is a very interesting memoir about becoming a doctor--medical school & residency. I guess the motherhood bit was tacked on to sell more books? It's an important part of the book, but only inasmuch as it affects her education/ career as a doctor. For me, the most interesting parts were the details about med school and anecdotes from her residency--when she started reflecting, I lost interest. If I were her editor, I would advise two things: *Make it less episodic. Watch out carefully for places This is a very interesting memoir about becoming a doctor--medical school & residency. I guess the motherhood bit was tacked on to sell more books? It's an important part of the book, but only inasmuch as it affects her education/ career as a doctor. For me, the most interesting parts were the details about med school and anecdotes from her residency--when she started reflecting, I lost interest. If I were her editor, I would advise two things: *Make it less episodic. Watch out carefully for places where you've been repetitive. This isn't a collection of essays, so you can trust your reader to remember from one section to another what a residency is. *Embed reflections more in your narration. Pare it down, too--you don't need seventeen paragraphs about why people apply to med school (etc.). Still, I like her voice a lot, and she comes across as competent and human and humane--which is what I want from everyone who treats me and my family.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leslie Zampetti

    Au's memoir is wry, funny, and a vivid account of her medical education. Au focuses on her personal journey to becoming a doctor. Why she chose medicine, her choice of specialty, and her decision to change that choice figure prominently instead of patient tales. What stories there are illustrate the decisions she makes and the effects of those decisions. An equally prominent factor is her focus on motherhood and the competing needs of personal vs. professional life, which is even more skewed in Au's memoir is wry, funny, and a vivid account of her medical education. Au focuses on her personal journey to becoming a doctor. Why she chose medicine, her choice of specialty, and her decision to change that choice figure prominently instead of patient tales. What stories there are illustrate the decisions she makes and the effects of those decisions. An equally prominent factor is her focus on motherhood and the competing needs of personal vs. professional life, which is even more skewed in medicine. No whining here, however, but a fairly thoughtful examination of priorities, personal and societal. While not as strong a writer as some doctors, Au's humor more than makes up for any lack in her prose. Fans of the genre - Hot Lights, Cold Steel and <On Call come to mind immediately, along with Intern - should pick this up.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Hediyeh

    It is actually sort of eerie how similar Michelle Au's life is to mine. Med school in Manhattan, meeting a blond-hair, blue-eyed ophthalmologist-to-be and getting married, thinking you want to do peds then switching into another field (I actually found her blog after frantically googling words like "switching out of pediatrics" and "being a woman in anesthesia"). Probably because of all these similarities, I really enjoyed reading Dr. Au's book. I loved her discussions on the so-called "work-lif It is actually sort of eerie how similar Michelle Au's life is to mine. Med school in Manhattan, meeting a blond-hair, blue-eyed ophthalmologist-to-be and getting married, thinking you want to do peds then switching into another field (I actually found her blog after frantically googling words like "switching out of pediatrics" and "being a woman in anesthesia"). Probably because of all these similarities, I really enjoyed reading Dr. Au's book. I loved her discussions on the so-called "work-life balance," being a mother and a doctor, and learning about the patients she had encountered in her many years of residency and medical school. She writes in a light, transparent way that really allows her humor to shine through.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Liralen

    Fun. Managed to be funny/snarky/blunt while at the same time coming off as quite thoughtful, and without the holier-than-thou feel that some doctor-memoirs* have. Au focuses on the learning stage of things—the stage when she is young and doesn't know what she's doing and is trying to figure out what it means to be a doctor, and what it means for her to be a doctor. Really enjoyed this one. Was a bit sorry that I'd taken it along as a can-leave-on-the-plane book (which I ended up handing off to a Fun. Managed to be funny/snarky/blunt while at the same time coming off as quite thoughtful, and without the holier-than-thou feel that some doctor-memoirs* have. Au focuses on the learning stage of things—the stage when she is young and doesn't know what she's doing and is trying to figure out what it means to be a doctor, and what it means for her to be a doctor. Really enjoyed this one. Was a bit sorry that I'd taken it along as a can-leave-on-the-plane book (which I ended up handing off to a random South African woman while we were waiting for our terminal in CDG to be cleared of a suspicious bag) and couldn't take it home with me, since I suspect it would stand up well to rereadings. *For better or for worse, not a phenomenon exclusive to doctor-memoirs.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Renee

    My Thoughts: This was an enjoyable easy read about the life of a female med student then resident and how she juggled the job demands while also being a wife and mother. Michelle makes her life seem relatively simple and with few snafus because of her positive outlook but it's still apparent that there were great difficulties such as when she had to fire her nanny while being unable to miss a single day of residency. While I don't understand what would compel someone to choose this lifestyle, I' My Thoughts: This was an enjoyable easy read about the life of a female med student then resident and how she juggled the job demands while also being a wife and mother. Michelle makes her life seem relatively simple and with few snafus because of her positive outlook but it's still apparent that there were great difficulties such as when she had to fire her nanny while being unable to miss a single day of residency. While I don't understand what would compel someone to choose this lifestyle, I'm sure there are many that wonder about our family choice to live 20 years as an active duty Army family.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    I've never read Michelle Au's blog (though I'd like to start), so came into the book without any particular hopes or preconceptions, and found it a really enjoyable read. She is obviously a very talented, driven and successful professional, but she manages to humanize doctors and shows no sign of conceit. I was glad that the majority of the text was allotted to vignettes from the hospital, rather than to mothering. There are a ton of good memoirs about the challenges of parenting (although docto I've never read Michelle Au's blog (though I'd like to start), so came into the book without any particular hopes or preconceptions, and found it a really enjoyable read. She is obviously a very talented, driven and successful professional, but she manages to humanize doctors and shows no sign of conceit. I was glad that the majority of the text was allotted to vignettes from the hospital, rather than to mothering. There are a ton of good memoirs about the challenges of parenting (although doctors certainly have it harder than most other white-collar parents), but not many funny, captivating ones written by female doctors.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kara Larson

    Really interesting take on the journey from medical student to resident to attending. Dr. Au uses humor alongside thought-provoking mother/physician conflicts while helping us realize what an amazing thing medicine and life itself really are. "Just because something is hard is no reason not to do it; ... in fact, there are few things worth doing that don't require significant sacrifice along the way." ""Here among people who are healthy, vital, walking down the street on their own two legs, hear Really interesting take on the journey from medical student to resident to attending. Dr. Au uses humor alongside thought-provoking mother/physician conflicts while helping us realize what an amazing thing medicine and life itself really are. "Just because something is hard is no reason not to do it; ... in fact, there are few things worth doing that don't require significant sacrifice along the way." ""Here among people who are healthy, vital, walking down the street on their own two legs, heart beating strong in their chests, lungs filling on their own with fresh autumn air, completely unaware of the miracle of it all."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I really enjoyed this book! As a possible pre-med at one point who constantly wavers in whether or not I should just go to medical school because of the career that I could have after it, her frank look at how hard medical school is and the years after just really hit home that that level of work is not worth it if that's not what I really want to do. I personally think her day-to-day blog is funnier and a more enjoyable read than the book, since this book was doubtlessly subject to the whims of I really enjoyed this book! As a possible pre-med at one point who constantly wavers in whether or not I should just go to medical school because of the career that I could have after it, her frank look at how hard medical school is and the years after just really hit home that that level of work is not worth it if that's not what I really want to do. I personally think her day-to-day blog is funnier and a more enjoyable read than the book, since this book was doubtlessly subject to the whims of editors' opinions, and seemed to be stilted at times. It also felt like it ended very abruptly.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    I would have given this 5 stars but the use of the phrase "physician's assistant" leads me to knock off half a star. I have read Michelle's blog for years. She is really a fantastic person and very humorous writer, so anyone who is interested in reading medical themed books might like this one! ***ETA: So I gave the 1/2 star back because Michelle was sweet enough to respond to my tweet about the matter with apologies. This error may not seem like a lot to most people, but to someone who spent 45 I would have given this 5 stars but the use of the phrase "physician's assistant" leads me to knock off half a star. I have read Michelle's blog for years. She is really a fantastic person and very humorous writer, so anyone who is interested in reading medical themed books might like this one! ***ETA: So I gave the 1/2 star back because Michelle was sweet enough to respond to my tweet about the matter with apologies. This error may not seem like a lot to most people, but to someone who spent 45 minutes with an emotional meltdown of joy after successfully passing her Physician Assistant Board Exam, it means everything!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Minh

    The world of medicine is so wildly different to what I do on a day to day basis, the only conception I have of it really comes from terrible soapy TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, so it's fascinating to read about it first hand from Michelle Au. Her writing style is infectious (sorry no pun intended) and just laugh out loud fun. There are scenes where she describes her stint in Peds that I still describe to people. A great look at the medical world from the viewpoint of the students. Received as an The world of medicine is so wildly different to what I do on a day to day basis, the only conception I have of it really comes from terrible soapy TV shows like Grey's Anatomy, so it's fascinating to read about it first hand from Michelle Au. Her writing style is infectious (sorry no pun intended) and just laugh out loud fun. There are scenes where she describes her stint in Peds that I still describe to people. A great look at the medical world from the viewpoint of the students. Received as an ARC via NetGalley

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.