2020 Maxy Awards Finalist – Nonfiction
"This immersive, eye-opening journey reveals the effects of mental illness on a physician.” –Kirkus Reviews
“This is an eye-opening memoir about mental illness and the medical profession delivered in a well-written, interesting, and engaging style.” –Sublime Book Review
"Kyle Bradford Jones's memoir Fallible travels the many rugged mine fields of being a young physician struggling with mental illness with a winning strength and grace.” –IndieReader
"Jones pulls back the curtain on physician well-being in this self-portrait.” –BlueInk Review
“Fallible is a very interesting and inspiring read, putting across the biological, psychosocial, social, and spiritual sides of depression and anxiety.” –Authors Reading
"Highly recommended" –Redford Township District Library
"Fallible is a moving, often darkly funny memoir that carries the haunting ring of truth." -Carl Elliott, author of White Coat, Black Hat
“In this age of physician burnout and suicide, this affecting memoir reaffirms the importance of supporting the mental health of our doctors.” -Sandeep Jauhar, author of Intern: A Doctor’s Initiation
A young doctor valiantly juggles the stresses of a medical career and the agonies of chronic mental illness.
Family physician Jones’ debut memoir portrays the author as a man struggling with “major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder” while pursuing a demanding career. Narrated with an affable, conversational tone, the book begins with an enlightening tour of Jones’ workplace, where the smells of a hospital are “so pervasive that you can’t wash it out of your scrubs.” The mental distortion of the disorders complicated his relentless physician residency, which stretched over many years. Able to identify several possible contributing factors to his condition, the Utah-born author saw his episodes of extreme stress begin to worsen while a teenager on a two-year Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints mission in Ukraine in 2000, which Jones meticulously details with great dexterity. This condition intensified further in medical school and well into a marriage that spawned four children, with the accompanying worries that he would pass his condition to his offspring. The author dubs his anxiety the “gargoyle forever watching me,” a monster responsible for uprooting what should have been placid moments throughout his life. Chapters where he explains his condition with statistical data and personal opinions and history are confidently and honestly written. Readers who have these types of psychiatric ailments will find those sections greatly relatable and resourceful. Anecdotes from his compelling medical career and assorted patient stories further personify and enliven a memoir that has a unique combination of both troubling and inspiring elements. Even for a man of devout faith, the hard truths about his mental illness became evident when he pleaded for help from his higher power, which resulted in negligible change to his condition. “Sometimes the answer is no,” he acknowledges. Jones also writes about the social stigma of mental illness, which many cultures consider a “moral failing.” For physicians battling psychiatric issues, his illuminating, forthright memoir closes with proven methods to improve doctors’ well-being. But the author encourages all readers to cultivate their inner strength and “be content and successful despite ongoing weakness.”
This immersive, eye-opening journey reveals the effects of mental illness on a physician.