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THIS WON'T HURT A BIT (AND OTHER WHITE LIES) by Michelle Au | Kirkus Reviews

He also shows us what happens when medicine comes up against the inexplicable: an architect with incapacitating back pain for which there is no physical cause; a young woman with nausea that won't go away; a television newscaster whose blushing is so severe that she cannot do her job. Gawande offers a richly detailed portrait of the people and the science, even as he tackles the paradoxes and imperfections inherent in caring for human lives.

At once tough-minded and humane, Complications is a new kind of medical writing, nuanced and lucid, unafraid to confront the conflicts and uncertainties that lie at the heart of modern medicine, yet always alive to the possibilities of wisdom in this extraordinary endeavor. In his acclaimed first memoir, Hot Lights, Cold Steel, Collins wrote passionately about his four-year surgical residency at the prestigious Mayo Clinic. Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs turns back the clock, taking readers from his days as a construction worker to his entry into medical school, expertly infusing his journey to become a doctor with humanity, compassion and humor.

From the first time he delivers a baby to being surrounded by death and pain on a daily basis, Collins compellingly writes about how medicine makes him confront, in a very deep and personal way, the nature of God and suffering—and how delicate life can be. During her first week as a student on the medical wards, Dr. Transue watched someone come into the emergency room in cardiac arrest and die. Nothing like this had ever happened to her before-it was a long way from books and labs.

So she began to record her experiences as she gained confidence putting her book knowledge to work. The stories focus on the patients Dr.

Transue encountered in the hospital, ER and clinic; some are funny and others tragic. They range in scope from brief interactions in the clinic to prolonged relationships during hospitalization. There is a man newly diagnosed with lung cancer who is lyrical about his life on a sunny island far away, and a woman, just released from a breathing machine after nearly dying, who sits up and demands a cup of coffee.

Though the book has a great deal of medical content, the focus is more on the stories of the patients' lives and illnesses and the relationships that developed between the patients and the author, and the way both parties grew in the course of these experiences. Along the way, the book describes the life of a resident physician and reflects on the way the medical system treats both its patients and doctors.

On Call provides a window into the experience of patients at critical junctures in life and into the author's own experience as a new member of the medical profession. Account Options Sign in. Top Charts. New Arrivals. 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.

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.

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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.

Reviews Review Policy. Content Protection. But if I take it, I will show my superiors I am doing my job.

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I will alleviate some of the suspicion they have of every new hire. Two and a half are gonna be dirty. Miss Price is thrilled. The captain calls the unit to congratulate me. When I do count later, each inmate on that tier stares at me with his meanest look. Some step toward me threateningly as I pass. He smiles. When you start working those hour shifts, you will see.

He racks the balls on the pool table and tells me about a nurse who gave a penicillin shot to an inmate who was allergic to the medicine and died. They had to airlift him out of there. He breaks and sinks a stripe. On my first official day as a CO, I am stationed on suicide watch in Cypress. In the entire prison of more than 1, inmates, there are no full-time psychiatrists and just one full-time social worker: Miss Carter.

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In class, she told us that a third of the inmates have mental health problems, 10 percent have severe mental health issues, and roughly a quarter have IQs under She said most prison mental health departments in Louisiana have at least three full-time social workers. Angola has at least Here, there are few options for inmates with mental health needs.

They can try to get an appointment with the part-time psychiatrist or the part-time psychologist, who are spread even thinner. Another option is to ask for suicide watch. A CO sits across from the two official suicide watch cells, which are small and dimly lit and have plexiglass over the front. My job is to sit across from two regular segregation cells being used for suicide watch overflow, observe the two inmates inside, and log their behavior every 15 minutes.

And truth be known, we do pencil-whip it. Add by That looks pretty come audit time. Other than the blanket, he is naked, his bare feet on the concrete. There is nothing else allowed in his cell other than some toilet paper.

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No books. Nothing to occupy his mind. They also get worse food. Nowhere else does a single guard oversee one or two inmates. If more than two inmates are on constant watch for more than 48 hours, the prison has to ask the regional corporate office for permission to continue, Miss Carter tells us.

CCA says this is inaccurate. Sometimes the regional office says no, she says, and the prisoners are put back on the tiers or in seg. I look over to the cell to the right and see Skeen sitting on his metal bed, staring at me and masturbating under his suicide blanket. He starts singing and dancing in his cell. I have about a hundred write-ups. Someone down the tier calls for me. He has a wild look in his eyes and he speaks intensely, but quietly.

With four inmates on suicide watch, we are already over capacity. I get off the bed, jump off that mothafucker headfirst.

This Won't Hurt a Bit

When I tell the key officer, she rolls her eyes. The CO sitting directly across from him twiddles his thumbs and gazes ahead blankly. In the neighboring cell, Skeen is staring at me, completely naked, masturbating vigorously. I tell him to stop. He gets up, comes to the bars, and strokes himself five feet in front of me. For an hour, I stare at a cup on the floor and study the blotches in the concrete. A few hours later, a SORT officer walks a cuffed man onto the tier.


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