From Publishers Weekly
It's a given that doctors-in-training will suffer through sleep deprivation and stress, but pediatrician Weir brings something more heartfelt—and joyful—to this achingly personal chronicle of her residency at Children's Hospital Boston and Boston Medical Center. Weir's grim introduction to Connor, a fragile preemie, forces her to wonder whether "the ends will justif even the most agonizing means." There is her anger at baby Myranda's drug-addicted mother, her panic over blue-baby Briony, her struggles to tell 19-year-old Harry's father that his son has a brain tumor, and her realization that when you don't know what to do, you should know whom to call. The most memorable parts of Weir's grueling training are the complicated kids and families, the hope she inspires in them—and the hope they give her in turn. Yet, she shows, doctors working with very sick children must know when they're offering families too much hope, or not enough, and that there's a cost to everything they do. Here's a white coat insider's account with better writing and more soul than most medical dramas. (Mar.)
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Among the lessons Weir recounts in this somewhat uneven memoir of her residency at Boston Children�s Hospital is the fact that sometimes parents of seriously ill children are more resilient than one might expect and that, as a physician, one can only do what one can do. When she needed to take a break early in her internship due to job-related stress, Weir fretted over the decision but took it nonetheless. Upon her return, she realized it was the best thing she could do, both for herself and for the children in her care. Additionally, a brief stint at a disastrously underequipped and understaffed hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, revealed that medical priorities must be adapted to the reality of one�s situation. Finally, by following her early patients and their families over the span of her residency, she discovered that sometimes the advice she might have given parents as a new intern was best left unsaid. Aside from its unusual pediatric perspective, Weir�s medical residency memoir is a consistently modest addition to the physician-in-training genre. --Donna Chavez
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