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Breaking and Mending

A Junior Doctor’s Stories of Compassion and Burnout
Narrated by: Joanna Cannon
Length: 4 hrs and 58 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The unforgettable memoir from the best-selling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie.

A few years ago, I found myself in A&E. I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn't eaten properly or slept well or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains, and I shook with the effort of not crying. I was an inch away from defeat...but I knew I had to carry on. Because I wasn't the patient. I was the doctor.  

No sleep, skeleton support, a head full of anatomy lectures and idealism: this is life for our junior doctors in their first few years on the wards. Here, Joanna Cannon tells her own story in visceral, heart-rending snapshots.  

We walk with her, facing extraordinary and daunting moments and meeting her patients: from attending her first postmortem, learning the overwhelming power of a well or badly chosen word and sitting with a young woman in her final hours to small sustaining acts of kindness and connection. These moments teach her that emotional care can be just as critical as restoring a heartbeat - and eventually lead her to her true home in psychiatry.  

Deeply moving, warm, compassionate and beautifully written, Breaking and Mending shows us why we need to better care for mental health - and for those who care for us.

©2019 Joanna Cannon (P)2019 Hachette Audio UK

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Profile Image for Adedayo Ajenifuja
  • Adedayo Ajenifuja
  • 11-05-19

Relatable

Could definitely relate with parts of this book.
Interesting ,the thoughts about death from depression/mental illness.

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  • Edie A
  • 11-03-19

Honest and Courageous

An honest and courageous account of life as a junior doctor. In her own words, Joanna Cannon tells how finding her niche in psychiatry made her realise that everyone has a place, a thing they excel at. I particularly liked that she read the story herself, as it felt like listening to a friend.

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  • mrs m. z. cromar-hayes
  • 10-10-19

Simply fantastic

Gives a great insight into the experiences and journey of the author. It offers lessons to anyone willing to listen, the one that I will be taking forward and sharing with students is “reading restores the possibility of hope”. Thanks for sharing your story.

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  • Rachel Badley
  • 10-09-19

Interesting but depressing!

Funnily enough, didn't find the author brought it to life! But I suppose it's obviously how she felt it should be read. Lots of touching stories, some heartwarming, but overall didn't really feel it got anywhere, needed more of her "mending" as I was left feeling most was the issues and struggles and very little on the positives.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-25-19

Great read for an aspiring psychiatrist

Hi Joanna,
Thank you for sharing your heartfelt story. I can sympathize with your journey through medicine as I too am draw moreso to the stories and struggles of patients over the science itself. Your book has reassured me that there is a landscape within medicine for people like us.