Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER

Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER

4.7 6
by Paul Austin
     
 

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“What makes this inspiring medical memoir stand out is the courageous measure of Austin’s humanity.”—Publishers Weekly

In this eye-opening account of life in the ER, Paul Austin recalls how the daily grind of long, erratic shifts and endless hordes of patients with sad stories sent him down a path of bitterness and cynicism.

Overview

“What makes this inspiring medical memoir stand out is the courageous measure of Austin’s humanity.”—Publishers Weekly

In this eye-opening account of life in the ER, Paul Austin recalls how the daily grind of long, erratic shifts and endless hordes of patients with sad stories sent him down a path of bitterness and cynicism. Gritty, powerful, and ultimately redemptive, Something for the Pain is a revealing glimpse into the fragility of compassion and sanity in the industrial setting of today’s hospitals.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
09/15/2014
Austin follows up Something for the Pain, his memoir of becoming an ER doctor, with an eloquent account of his experiences raising a child with Down syndrome. It begins in 1987 when he, a third-year resident, and his wife, Sally, a labor and delivery room nurse, receive the news that their newborn daughter, Sarah, has the congenital condition. As Austin watches his wife breast-feed Sarah, and later slips a flower behind his daughter’s ear as she sleeps in his arms, his love for her is unmistakable. He segues seamlessly between scenes of family life and disquisitions on the history and science of Down syndrome, arguing that we are defined by more than our genes. Though Austin doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges he faced, he also shows Sarah as an engaging, sociable child who loved movies, dancing, and drawing. While following her development from birth to age 22, readers also witness Austin’s transformation from a father who once had to “pretend” to be proud, to a man in genuine awe of Sarah’s many gifts. Parents of special-needs kids will find this story particularly inspiring, and its universal message of love and acceptance should speak to a much wider audience. (Oct.)
Boston Sunday Globe
“Austin gives a stunning account of the chaos of the emergency room, the constant drama of urgent situations calling for immediate and decisive action. He pulls us inside the chronic exhaustion ER docs fight against and fully engages us in the difficult juggling doctors do.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393063141
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
10/21/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
254,861
File size:
262 KB

Meet the Author

Paul Austin, an emergency-room doctor, is the author of a previous memoir, Something for the Pain. His essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the Southeast Review, and the Gettysburg Review. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

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Something for the Pain: Compassion and Burnout in the ER 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Simply excellent, informative, and some insight into our medical system. The message when related to hospitals, and the like is to ALWAYS ask questions no matter how foolish or silly you may feel. Often, too often, doctors make "safe" calls/decisions, NOT taking into consideration the INDIVIDUAL patient.
Gail Cesarello More than 1 year ago
This book really gives you an inside look of what it is like working in the er and from the Dr.'s perspective. Could not put the book down until the end.
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