Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Things I Have Read: This Won't Hurt a Bit

This afternoon I finished reading "This Won't Hurt A Bit" by Dr Michelle Au. Actually, I read 3/4 of it today - I just couldn't put it down.

Michelle writes a great blog called "The Underwear Drawer" although my writing this is probably complete overkill because if you are reading this blog, then you are probably far more familiar with hers. If you aren't familiar, then you should be.

I have been reading her blog for years, and her post "It gets better" struck a very loud chord with me. Internship can be awful. It really can. It has it's moments, but on the whole it is just one of those things that you do because you have to. Nobody becomes a doctor because they want to be a resident.

I get through the day thanks to the patients I interact with, their families, and the staff I meet. Also. the promise of the job I will get to do in the future is just hanging there in front of me, so close and yet so far.

Not many people talk about it publicly, possibly because within the medical fraternity you are supposed to be tough and stick it out, and when you are talking to people outside of the profession, very few of them actually get it and if you complain they may look at you as if you are mad.

After all, don't people spend years, countless dollars and sometimes concoct truly bizarre schemes in the hope of being in your shoes? They look at you, standing where they would almost kill to stand, and you have the temerity to whine about how little sleep you get, how awful things can be and how you have forgotten what your house looks like in the daylight hours, and they just don't get it.

You also lose your ability to write with any kind of finesse, so please excuse this post. Or maybe that is just me.

It was such a relief to read this book, and I think I may just read it again almost immediately. It gave me hope that not only could a reasonable, professional doctor feel the same way that I have at times, but she has continued on with her career and managed to do things that I am yet to do.

I laughed, I cried, and completely identified with her experiences. It was a good read, and cathartic to boot, yet was never overly sentimental or cloying.

If you want to see what it is like to actually be a junior doctor or a medical student, this is the book that you MUST read. Don't forget the blog, either.


KT said...

Yay! I can't wait to read this book. I love Michelle's blog, and as a possibly-future anaesthetist, I'm particularly interested in her career path.

PS. Don't worry; your post was written with plenty of finesse. You expressed yourself beautifully.

The Girl said...

Aw, thanks. :)
It really is a good book.