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Publisher's Summary

In medical school, Matt McCarthy dreamed of being a different kind of doctor - the sort of mythical, unflappable physician who could reach unreachable patients. But when a new admission to the critical care unit almost died his first night on call, he found himself scrambling. Visions of mastery quickly gave way to hopes of simply surviving hospital life, where confidence was hard to come by and no amount of med school training could dispel the terror of facing actual patients.

This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy's intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients' rooms and doctors' conferences to witness a physician's journey from ineptitude to competence. McCarthy's one stroke of luck paired him with a brilliant second-year adviser he called "Baio" (owing to his resemblance to the Charles in Charge star), who proved to be a remarkable teacher with a wicked sense of humor. McCarthy would learn even more from the people he cared for, including a man named Benny, who was living in the hospital for months at a time awaiting a heart transplant. But no teacher could help McCarthy when an accident put his own health at risk, and showed him all too painfully the thin line between doctor and patient.

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly offers a window on to hospital life that dispenses with sanctimony and self-seriousness while emphasizing the black-comic paradox of becoming a doctor: How do you learn to save lives in a job where there is no practice?

©2015 Matt McCarthy (P)2015 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[This] rousing memoir describes [a] tumultuous year of medical internship at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, a 12-month marathon noteworthy for a steep learning curve, emotional extremes, and chronic sleep deprivation... A genuine glimpse at the making of a doctor." (Booklist)
"This story is a year in the life of an almost-doctor, but it is so much more than that. It's a book about mentorship, compassion, pride, and the insecurity of learning the most important lessons in your career - and in your life - long after those lessons were supposed to be taught. It's about the precarious and often unclear boundary between life and death, and those tasked with maintaining this boundary, even at the end of a thirty-hour shift. Perhaps above all, it's about decent people doing a very hard, decent thing with their lives. Yes, doctors are people too - and McCarthy tempers and then transcends the unease of such a reminder by telling his story with much humor, and even more heart." (Jeff Hobbs, author of The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace)
"Matt McCarthy's new book, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly, is an honest, beautiful, and terrifying look at what goes into creating a doctor. Filled with very human characters, both doctors and patients alike, Matt's well-paced writing makes it easy to imagine yourself in the shoes of a brand new intern, nervous and afraid, yet still tasked with literal life and death decisions. I would recommend this book to anyone who knows or has been treated by a doctor (so basically everyone)." (Chris Kluwe, author of Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Mom/RN
  • San Antonio, TX
  • 06-08-15

"my neurotic inner monologue"

loved it! dr mcarthy writes from the perspective of his neurotic inner monologue, which is both refreshing and hilarious. he bridges the gap between wondering if anyone can see his incompetence to becoming the one in charge of many fragile lives.... a daring journey for sure. his passion for the lives he touches and his sensitivity to the perspective of others is exhausting and admirable. a fun story if you are enamored with medicine, as I am!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Save your money!

First off the narration is read by the author and has little to no emotion. Think of your doctor reading a very long patient chart to you. Far better books on the market.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Vulnerable, open, personal perspective...

Matt did a great job narrating his own excellent work. Good voice and a personable book tone make The Real Doctor interesting and emotionally investing. I was dug into the book from beginning to end. Obviously being a Harvard med grad and another doctor as a gf, this guy was initially a book-smart student who knew the "right answers" in school. This book seems to chronicle Matt's omission of such a fallacy, and the subsequent beat downs that matured him into a thinking, feeling, caring physician. Smart people love being right and dominating their field. Matt's book was about choosing the caring path instead and letting the intellectual stuff figure out later. Cool story.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Great read!! Highly recommend

Smart, witty, and intelligent. I'm not from a medical background but thoroughly enjoyed his ways of describing medical scenarios and everything in between.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Inept Doctor and All His Mistakes

Not a gifted author, but not horrible. Thie main character was kind of annoying, but he had some okay patient stores. Medical knowledge, explanation, and elaboration wasn't half as good as One Doctor.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Frank
  • Norfolk, VA, United States
  • 09-23-15

House of God Updated

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

What a great book. I read House of God when I was an intern in 1978 and listened to it a few years ago. I saw this book and listened to it as my son began his internship. How times have changed but the hard work and long hours are the same. The the humor we use to survive it all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Great summary of intern year

Great summary for residents going through intern year and to realize others are/have endured the same struggle and survived to second year :)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Right from the center of the action

What made the experience of listening to The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly the most enjoyable?

I loved hearing exactly how he felt

What did you like best about this story?

His growth

How could the performance have been better?

Have someone else read it. Very dull voice until the last few chapters.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Loved it

Would you listen to The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly again? Why?

Such a great story

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly?

Everything that he goes through - makes you feel bad for the Drs

What does Matt McCarthy bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is great at describing how he felt - it feels like you are living the moment with him

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An inspiring and an important read

A very inspiring and important read for all those considering a career in medicine. It is a fascinating peak into the life of a young physician.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Liz
  • 10-22-17

ebjoyanle

a really good book that's shows a doctor metomorphising from inter to doctor. a really well written account

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-21-17

How an Intern survives his first year is amazing

If you work in the Health system providing patient care ( or have done) then this book is a fascinating insight into an Intern's first year. How they survive the gruelling work hours; in some cases 30 hours non-stop (no sleep) is a miracle. Why there are not more patient-related incidents is also a miracle. The system for training interns is tough and in this day and age you would wonder why it still exists in this way.
The experiences and learning situations are certainly interesting as the student transitions to Doctor. The personal toll and sacrifice is huge.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it

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  • Paul
  • 03-18-17

Tedious self absorbtion

A litany if self absorption and self pity. Shame, it could I'd have been a wonderful account.

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  • Paul
  • 01-12-17

Great listen

Im a medical student and I found this book both interesting and educational. Would recommend.