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Book and Media Reviews
September 15, 2010

Becoming a Doctor: From Student to Specialist, Doctor-Writers Share Their Experiences

JAMA. 2010;304(11):1245. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1356

All physicians have unique experiences as medical students and residents, but some memories of medical education are universal: camaraderie, miraculous cures, unexpected deaths, inspiring attendings, and on-call terrors. Plenty of pages have been printed on the topic of what it feels like to train as a physician. The latest entry to this genre is Becoming a Doctor: From Student to Specialist, Doctor-Writers Share Their Experiences.

Despite a rather uninspiring introduction to the text, most of the 19 personal narratives are solid. There is the obligatory recollection of a medical student's encounter with a cadaver. There is the occasional unexpected scenario, such as an obstetrical resident sued for medical malpractice by a patient he briefly examined at the start of his training. Four of these mini-autobiographies are exemplary.

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