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India Marie Clamp

California
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Doctored audiobook cover art

Jauhar auspicious brilliance!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-13-19

Reading books by the same authors communicates in action, and it’s something not requiring explanation. Sandeep Jauhar is human, and we learn first-hand about private practice and how “lovey dovey” (is the norm) in “Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician.” Caring for the patient requires some extreme interventions.

Many physicians' use the “Halloween Voice” or the word “Cancer” despite---no indication of its presence---to scare one into health. Does this really work? When did going “Halloween” ever work on anyone not classified as a caveman/woman? Referring to physicians as knaves/swords is hilarious as is his self-deprecating rants that convey his brilliance and humility.

“Success is judged not by the position you reach in life but by the obstacles you have overcome...Callahan got up and wrote: extend life, prevent suffering, yes...hasten death, no...”
---Sandeep Jauhar, MD

Dr. Jauhar strongly voices frustrations with our medical system. Doctor bashing takes the spotlight in this book. Jauhars’ angst is a common chronic diarrheal theme. Throughout we can picture a cartoon of media of this sensational Cardiologist’ face being illustrated and artist pens “Stooge” instead of Sandeep.

“Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician” is a despotic listen on Audible. The intonations bring respiration to his family characters. Sadly, this famous Cardiologist gets fired for not bringing in enough money to the private practice that welcomed him after being vetted by family. Read, laugh and share.

Superbugs audiobook cover art

Brilliant read by Dr. Matt McCarthy!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-23-19

This is not my first book review of Author/MD/Assistant Professor of Medicine Matt McCarthy and given his content I will persevere to review additional literary orchestrations as they are never trite. If virology is your “chocolate fix” then “Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic” is the signal to “Graviora manent.”

The question is what always motivates the genius. In this case a decade was spent in a lab as Little Flem asked himself, “How did bacteria thrive and how could they be killed?” Not quite the Nobel prize winner (yet) we meet---via Dr. McCarthy---Alexander Fleming in his humble days as a “triage medic” transporting dead and dying patients.

“...Little Flem as he was known, was not drawn to controversy, or to combat or even a conversation. (One colleague claimed that trying to speak to him was like playing tennis with a man who, when he received a serve, put the ball in his pocket.)”
---Matt McCarthy, MD

Knowledge brings sadness and the question “Why?" Confronted with wisdom that not all physicians act on behalf of patients. Recount of the Tuskegee study is given. Eighty two percent were black and twenty-two percent could not read or write. What must it be like to do 20 spinal taps on a quotidian basis and watch suffering men with syphilis?

"Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic” is on the level of literary star “Siddhartha Mukherjee, MD” in originality and brevity. Dr. Matt McCarthy opens wide the doors to a brilliant introvert and Nobel Prize winner Sir Alexander Fleming---who engineered the drug penicillin. He adored music. Sad, realistic and honest. Buy and read.

Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs audiobook cover art

From Construction worker to Orthopedic Surgeon!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-02-19

From an Irish-Catholic construction worker downing beer, cursing and throwing rocks to becoming an orthopedic surgeon. Dr. Michael J. Collins (the oldest of 8 Irish-boys) delineates how his Mother “made a deal with God” to gain him admission Loyola Medical School. Use of “rat” and putting stuff in it some could describe as unholy?

“They are gods...I want to...blithely throw off phrases like BUN/creatinine ratio...aortic insufficiency...do important things like delivering quadruplets/repairing ruptured aneurysms. I want to be anything but a rock thrower on Battaglia's breakout crew.”

---Michael J. Collins, MD


From dying babies and old ladies had me reciting Ovid's’ “Curando fieri quaedam majora videmus vulnera” which illuminated something sacred to stop the tears. “Blue Collar, Blue Scrubs: The Making of a Surgeon” is a comic filled rant with no promise of clean words, yet its masterful in delivering the truth with Cerebro spinal fluid clarity.

This is literary “schatz” by Dr. Collins divergent to his “Hot Lights, Cold Steel” (2005). In the midst of chaos and death of babies he exposes the clandestine acumen imparted from suffering---even after his intern commits suicide. All this and courtship of the lady who would become his wife. Raw, candid and brilliant read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly audiobook cover art

From ignorance to equanimity, superb read.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-17-19

Imagine getting “skewered” by an HIV infected needle and having to endure meds for a month. Meeting Matt at Stanford and observing him helped me to understand why many physicians are prolific readers/authors/healers. Feelings are laid bare when he says I felt like the “dullest scalpel in the drawer” and guilt over a botched diagnosis.

“The clock is ticking, my friend. And you’re stalling.” As my intern pondered the scenario, I turned to the group. A wise man once said that when you arrive at an arrest, the first pulse you should take is your own.”

---Matt McCarthy, MD

Meeting Matt, him standing tall at the Pegasus Writers Program at Stanford and his millisecond responses to any question I pitched lingually as a curve ball. He had the aesthetic of a professional baseball player. Dr. McCarthy's words were elegant like an internist and his demeanor so oppositional to the orthopedic athlete surgeon.

McCarthy's brazen memoir of his medical internship in a New York hospital gives us sight into how doctors are created. Reading “The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First year” is a journey from ignorance to equanimity. The medical music within is a harmonious cocktail of honesty lacking any hint of pretension. Buy.

Hot Lights, Cold Steel audiobook cover art

Humor with surgical excellence at Mayo!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-19

Starts with a 14-year-old boy in the OR and Dr. Collins must make the decision of saving or amputating his leg. This also occurs post residency at “The Mayo Clinic” and his appointment to chief resident of orthopedic surgery. Feelings are laid bare when he says I felt like the “dullest scalpel in the drawer.”

"Dr. Harding was sleeping and rounds needed to be made...and me the greenest rookie imaginable, in charge. We had fifteen patients in our service...hip or knee replacements. I just wanted to get through...without making a terrible mistake.”

---Michael J. Collins, MD

Having a baby, yearly saint Patti (wife) and the many sacrifices termed “moonlighting” to support his family of twelve children are surgical scalpel honey. Sacrifices made by Dr. Michael J. Collins do rouse emotion in the reader and we realize great suffering produces humility, empathy and bonding---and in this case a truly stellar surgeon.

Hot Lights, Cold Steel: Life, Death and Sleepless Nights in a Surgeon’s First Years is pretention free, and overflowing with humor akin to “House of God.” This is a fetching recount of the life of an orthopedic surgeon. Mangled legs, bone cancer and death are daily realities. Orthopedic surgery must read and my highest rating this month. Buy!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Last Night in the OR audiobook cover art

Thrilling with Starzl!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-02-19

Surgical transplantation is an exacting science requiring rapt focus. Bud Shaw aka Byers Shaw MD is a protégé of famous Dr. Thomas E. Starzl, who is rightfully termed “the father of liver transplantation.” Writing within mesmerizes, yet in its bare honesty we find a surgeon who undergoes a journey similar to “Dante’s Inferno.”

"Dr. Starzl wasn’t happy...complaining. Shun kept silent and moved like a cat to retract something one way, and, without a word, get Hong or Carlos to do something useful. I thought them telepathic...doubted my own survival.”

---Bud Shaw, MD

Pondering on “Last Night in the OR: A Transplants Surgeon’s Odyssey” is nothing even close to mediocrity. In Shaw’s descriptive “...caught a glimpse of the liver lurking under the diaphragm...a shriveled, knobby greenish-yellow lump...sloshed around in a puddle of blood every time the ventilator fired...”we are pierced---as if prose is Shaw’s vernacular.

On the level with mavens like Henry Marsh (Do No Harm) and the genius of Atul Gawande conveyed is his “Being Mortal.” Dr. Byers Shaw begins as a thirty-one-year-old resident under the “acidic” mouth of Dr. Thomas E. Starzl and matures into being a world class surgeon. Definite read. If expletives offend, this is not for you.

Extreme Medicine audiobook cover art

Science and medical advancement within! Read.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-19

Dr. Eric Fong narrates about, “Extremes: Life, Death and the Limits of the Human Body” his latest gift to science and medicine. Sitting in front with a most unassuming presence in his grey t-shirt and perfect English accent one would think, “Is this baby-faced man really a physician?” Is he really a NASA expert on putting humans on Mars?

“An alarm goes off. I nod at the surgeons. They step back from the table. We fire the defibrillator again. This is absurd. Sooner or later the rhythm of his heart will degenerate into something...”

---Kevin Fong, MD

Science ever engaging us to light as does Dr. Kevin Fong as he explores human limits to extreme conditions and what ordains survival. Begins with a treacherous artic climb and a physician pronounced DOA. Risking death leads to demiurgic medical prizes in cardiothoracic surgery, skin grafts and trauma care---in extremis---from feedback.

Pioneering medicine as life teeters on the head of a pin is what this book feels like when you interact with its many forms. Dr. Kevin Fong really is a physician and NASA expert. Human limits are erased and past that point we see the fuzzy glowing bright light blinking indicating creation and divinity. Truly epic combination of medicine and space exploration. Definite purchase. Listening to Dr. Fong is not torture, but “divina legere.”

When Death Becomes Life audiobook cover art

Who is Thomas Starzl? Liver transplant heaven.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-02-19

Consider five lives can be impacted positively with a body donation via surgical transplantation. While Dr. Joshua D. Mezrich covers over 100 years of surgical transplant history and entices you into the OR to witness the “perfusion of a kidney” post-transplant. Here anything lacking perfection equates to morbid outcomes (for patient and surgeon).

"The liver will start pouring bile. The lungs start essentially breathing, the most dramatic organ, of course, is the heart, because you put it in and you kind of ...give a little shock and it just starts beating, and that's pretty darn dramatic."

---Joshua D. Mezrich, MD

Reflecting on “When Death Becomes Life: Notes from a Transplant Surgeon” the book unravels like a vine in a most riveting way. It engages us to question, should a chronically alcoholic woman receive a donor liver? Mezrich recalls his patients with accuracy like “patient is yellow as a banana” and why this is---medically significant.

At University of Wisconsin at Madison Dr. Mezrich orchestrates medical thaumaturgy via expunging organs from death and infusing them with life in new bodies. Gratitude is a quotidian elixir he gives throughout this documented transplant surgery adventure. Must read, reflect and engage others to dialogue. Note, this is not for sensitive types.

Dogmeat audiobook cover art

Dr. Charlie Wilson aka "Chairman Wilson?

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-01-19

Imagine being at the end of your residency and legendary neurosurgeon Charlie Wilson screams “You are not cut out for Neurosurgery.” Dr. Wilson (UCSF) already fired the previous resident and Senegor was the next resident “Dogmeat.” San Francisco is the enchanting city where this happens (full of fog banks, redwoods and recollections).

“The bone’s trajectory crested up near the operating lights...the bone fell in a split second…periosteal under a craniotomy bone cut… All chatter came to a halt when Dr. Wilson entered...”

---Moris Senegor, MD

“Dogmeat: A Memoir of Love and Neurosurgery in San Francisco” is a fiercely candid tour of the wards and operating rooms at prestigious UCSF. “Senegor” lost a marriage and found a new one in the ordeal. Spilling over with black humor and a candid delineation of “the nether world” of residency.

Neurosurgeon Moris Senegor has achieved more than 8000 procedures in peripheral nerve, spine and brain surgery. San Francisco and its inveiglement are found within. Resident empathy dissipates with "ubi pus, ibi evacua” surgery in care bordering on “toten machen.” Buy, cringe and imagine being the “Dogmeat” of Dr. Charlie Wilson.

The House of God audiobook cover art

Intership and tears, how to stay alive and human

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-06-19

Samuel Shem is the pen name for the author of this book. After reading a few lines of the lascivious tales within, it becomes obvious why a pseudonym was used. "The House of God” details the journey of Roy Bausch and 5 interns at one of the most prestigious teaching hospitals in the world. Contents are plenary, raw and tragic.

""Turfing, GOMER and LOL in NAD are the terminological morsels of celestial pregnant nectar nurturing residents (and me) in the secret language of medicine---to convey truth. How patients are "turfed" is creative and captivating...all this and an intro by Updike."
---India M. Clamp

A Senior Resident, they call “The Fat Man” is the kind of genius who can swear like a sailor and gets away with it because he is just “that good.” Rife with black humor and a candid delineation of what enduring an internship is really like. In a quotidian terror of learning by doing, we discover how “Ex Nihilo Nihil Fit” becomes a mantra.

And at Beth Abraham Hospital nurses (akin to divine buxom cherubs) named: Molly, Angel and Hazel succor in ways that de-facto/de-jure rules do not seem to apply. “Buffing the chart,” inspires smiles like dollars coming from outcomes you would not wish on an enemy. Must read for any resident, intern or student of medicine! Buy, laugh and learn.