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Intern is Dr. Sandeep Jauhar’s story of his days and nights in residency at a busy hospital in New York City, a trial that led him to question his every assumption about medical care today. Residency—and especially its first year, the internship—is legendary for its brutality, and Jauhar’s experience was even more harrowing than most. He switched from physics to medicine in order to follow a more humane calling—only to find that his new profession often had little regard for patients’ concerns. He struggled to ...
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Intern is Dr. Sandeep Jauhar’s story of his days and nights in residency at a busy hospital in New York City, a trial that led him to question his every assumption about medical care today. Residency—and especially its first year, the internship—is legendary for its brutality, and Jauhar’s experience was even more harrowing than most. He switched from physics to medicine in order to follow a more humane calling—only to find that his new profession often had little regard for patients’ concerns. He struggled to find a place among squadrons of cocky residents and doctors. He challenged the practices of the internship in The New York Times, attracting the suspicions of the medical bureaucracy. Then, suddenly stricken, he became a patient himself—and came to see that today’s high-tech, high-pressure medicine can be a humane science after all.
Jauhar’s beautifully written memoir explains the inner workings of modern medicine with rare candor and insight.
Cardiologist Jauhar, a regular writer for the New York Timesand the New England Journal of Medicine, chronicles his first year in medical residency as an intern. Having resisted his family's attempts to persuade him to pursue a career in medicine, Jauhar instead pursues a Ph.D. in physics. But after a friend is diagnosed with the autoimmune disease lupus, Jauhar realizes his chosen major would enable him to have very little impact on people's lives. He decides instead to enter medical school, and upon graduation begins a residency program in a New York hospital. During most of his residency, however, Jauhar wavers in his decision to become a medical doctor. His honest and vivid account of the grueling life of a resident struggling through his first year as a doctor allows readers to see medicine from the point of view of someone wrestling with his career choice. By the end, Jauhar becomes more confident, assimilating into his role as a doctor, and developing a passion for his career in medicine-especially after becoming a patient himself. A well-written medical memoir recommended for most libraries.
“Brutally frank . . . The inside look at the workings of the medical internship system is fascinating.” —William Grimes, The New York Times
“Jauhar’s stories are timeless [and] interesting.” —Barron H. Lerner, The Washington Post
“A vivid portrait of the culture of a New York City hospital, with its demanding hierarchy and sometimes indifferent cruelty.” —Vincent Lam, The New York Times Book Review
“Very few books can make you laugh and cry at the same time. This is one of them. Sandeep reveals himself in this book as he takes us on a wondrous journey through one of the most difficult years of his life. It is mandatory reading for anyone who has been even the slightest bit curious about how a doctor gets trained, and for physicians, it is a valuable record of our initiation.” —Sanjay Gupta, CNN medical correspondent and author of Chasing Life
“Intern will resonate not only with doctors, but with anyone who has struggled with the grand question: ‘what should I do with my life?’ In a voice of profound honesty and intelligence, Sandeep Jauhar gives us an insider's look at the medical profession, and also a dramatic account of the psychological challenges of early adulthood.” —Akhil Sharma, author of An Obedient Father
“Told of here is a time of travail and testing—a doctor’s initiation into the trials of a demanding yet hauntingly affirming profession—all conveyed by a skilled, knowing writer whose words summon memories of his two great predecessors, Dr. Anton Chekhov and Dr. William Carlos Williams: a noble lineage to which this young doctor’s mind, heart, and soul entitle him to belong.” — Robert Coles
"Intern is not just a gripping tale of becoming a doctor. It's also a courageous critique, a saga of an immigrant family living (at times a little uneasily) the American dream, and even a love story. A great read and a valuable addition to the literature—and I use the word advisedly—of medical training." —Melvin Konner, M.D. Ph.D., author of Becoming a Doctor
"In this era when medical shows abound on TV, Jauhar demonstrates the power of the written word in the hands of a sensitive, thoughtful observer and an experienced, gifted writer. Intern is a compelling, accurate and heartfelt chronicle of what that year is really like. It will be the standard by which future such memoirs will be judged."—Abraham Verghese, author of My Own Country and The Tennis Partner
"Excellent, well-written... Jauhar captures vividly the uncertainty, fear, and extreme exhaustion that dominates the (residency) experience... As one reads this emotionally powerful story, it becomes clear that the culture in which the interns work is profoundly important to their experience."
-Katharine Treadway, The New England Journal of Medicine
"This insider's account of life on the ward forces us to contemplate our own mortality. And we emerge from it all with a greater respect for medical professionals and their patients."
-Peter McDermott, America
"An exceptional accomplishment... beautifully written and incredibly insightful... by far the best memoir of medical student or resident days yet published."
-Kenneth Ludmerer, author of Learning to Heal: The Development of American Medical Education
"Here Jauhar's skills as both storyteller and compassionate physician are at their best; his encounters illustrate the complexity of real-life clinical decision-making. ...The overall feeling that emerges is that of struggle: patients struggle against the illogical oddities of a broken health care system and less frequently they struggle against their clinicians, but most often they struggle along with their clinicians to reach an acceptable or at least meaningful compromise with the injustices that come with illness. Certainly there are no easy answers, and few writers have conveyed this truth more forcefully than Jauhar. ...Those who enjoy good writing for its own sake will savor the crafted texture of this narrative. ...Jauhar captures the essence of how it feels to be a present-day physician in residency training. ...So long as training to become a physician remains a dynamic process, memoirs like this will continue to serve an important role in exploring and explaining this process to the patients that physicians serve and, perhaps no less, to physicians themselves."
-S. Ryan Gregory, MD, The Journal of the American Medical Association
"Jauhar, like most of us, is neither a saint nor an apostle of medicine. He is a little sarcastic, a little bitter, a little naive, a little smarter, and a little stupider than everyone else; in short, the character he writes for himself is the perfect protagonist for a medical internship. As he flinches from the gauntlet run, the grace of his prose allows us to feel every blow. To this young physician, it brought back visceral feelings, and I hope this is not the last literary gut punch we receive from Jauhar."
-Noah Raizman, The Lancet Review
"This is no made-for-TV sitcom: Dr. House wouldn't last a night in Dr. Jauhar's world."
-San Diego Union-Tribune
"Following in the path paved by doctor-writers like Lewis Thomas and Richard Selzer, Jauhar writes with grace, precision and passion. What makes him such a stimulating companion is his willingness to couple candid insights into the state of modern American medicine with equally revealing glimpses into the soul of a young doctor."
"Jauhar's candid account of his stressful journey is enlightening, educational and eye-opening. After ten successful years in the profession, the author dolefully admits that he is unfazed by the 'small injustices' in hospitals today. Required reading for anyone seriously considering a career in medicine."
"What sets Jauhar's internship story apart from the norm is his candor."
"Honest and vivid... A well-written medical memoir." -Library Journal
Excerpted from Intern by Jauhar, Sandeep Copyright © 2007 by Jauhar, Sandeep. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Posted August 26, 2011
It was a very easy read. My husband is going through residency and it gave me great insight as to what he has to deal with in the hospital. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a loved one in the medical field as well as the new interns (they can learn a lot from Dr. Jauhar's scenarios).Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 13, 2011
Posted August 11, 2011
This is an excellent book. I am a prospective medical student who works in an emergency department and have witnessed many situations that Dr. Jauhar went through. After reading this book, I can't wait to experience the medical field.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 21, 2008
Dr. Jauhar has heard it before and he still doesn't have a clue. In his book Intern, he used 'the power of the pen', to retaliate against those who most likely, unknowingly, made him feel insecure. It is obvious to the reader that he never felt 'good enough' to be there. The character known as 'Dr. David Klein' (not his real name) was one of the most beloved physicians at NYH - anything but an elitist. Most of his patients were of the low-middle class socioeconomic status. He was kind to everyone, patients and staff alike.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 22, 2008
I am an MBA who has very limited contact with physicians except for my yearly checkup. However, I have always been fascinated by the medical profession and especially how doctors 'survive' the training. This book was truly amazing because it allowed a non-physician to understand, appreciate and become a part of the training process. Kudos to the author. A great book for everyone.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 17, 2008
I really don't understand the string of five-star reviews that this book received. The writing, for instance, is very poor, and the book reads like a rather dull episode of 'Grey's Anatomy' which it seems fairly clear the author is trying to imitate. The narrative skips around frequently, not for purposes of clarity but instead, seemingly, to make it impossible to follow the story chronologically, and the other characters are completely flat and one-dimensional, coming across as nothing more than a series of bland facial descriptions. Worst of all, however, is the narrator himself. I found his constant apathy towards his chosen profession wearying, rather than inspiring, and he seemed to have very little empathy for his patients, as he kept finding convoluted ways to compare his uncertainty to their pain or grief- in places it became nauseating. Perhaps, as a literary scholar and not an aspiring med student I am simply not the target audience for this memoir, but I took nothing away from this other than a mild feeling of annoyance and the knowledge that if I had ever been treated by an intern as inept as the author, I probably would have sued.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 26, 2007
Dr. Jauhar captures not only the essence of the medical internship year, but bravely and boldly shares his inner conflicts with career choice, patient care dilemmas, the injustices of the medical care system, and some of the inhumanity of the training environment. After more than 30 years as an educator of medical interns and residents, I found Sandeep's book to be a veritable 'tour de force'...bringing a fresh, insightful perspective to this topic. This is 'must' reading for every medical student, all residents and training, the general public with an interest in the field, and also for those of us deeply involved in careers in post-graduate medical educationWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 5, 2008
I picked up this book with some trepidation. Another doctor book!! However, I could not put it down. It describes in vivid, honest detail the struggles of a 1st generation immigrant from India who has to deal with the family pressures of pursuing a career in medicine with his own intellectual concerns about medicine. Jauhar writes in beautiful prose and is able to put to words that most physicians actually feel and went through during their internship. It is a great read and must reading for physicians, want- to-be physicians, college students considering a medical career, and the general public who are interested in the struggles of a physician and the inner workings of a medical system that is more concerned with throughput than academic curiosityWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 10, 2008
Dr. Jauhar tells his story of 'coming up' as a newly ordained man of medicine. Not only does he offer a great deal of insight to the non-medical reader what these young physicians go through after they are able to call themselves Doctor, he paints the picture of the struggles that young people go through as they emerge into their careers. This is a must read for any aspiring or currently training physician. In addition new college graduates in any field should read this story of the struggles that one must go through when they come down from the academic ¿ivory towers¿ and emerge into the real world. Dr. Jauhar tackles the ethical, professional and personal dilemmas of not only becoming a physician but becoming a balanced human being, advice which young people could certainly use in these ever confusing times in our society. A+Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 29, 2007
This book is a brilliant, honest and touching memoir of one man's journey through his medical internship at New York Hospital. I could not put it down. I had no idea how grueling the process was. He has shared intimate details of his daily life on the wards, the stresses as well as the rewards. It will surely become a classic in its field. I also recommend it as one of the best books I have ever read. This book deserves as many stars as there are in the sky. DWDWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.