Collins begins this personal chronicle with an account of a choice he had to make between amputating a 14-year-old boy's leg and saving the limb at a greater risk to the boy's life. (He amputated the leg.) This dilemma came at the conclusion of Collins's grueling four years of residency at the Mayo Clinic, culminating in his appointment as chief resident in orthopedic surgery. Now in practice in Illinois, he details, with admirable humor and insight, the early, virtually sleepless years when he learned not only to perfect his craft but to come to terms with the emotional impact of causing pain and losing patients. Collins brings to life the dramatic moments when he made his first, terrifying incision and hand-drilled a traction pin into a weeping six-year–old's leg. Collins and his wife, Patti, wanted a large family, but the economic strain of having three children in three years (they eventually had 12) forced him to moonlight every other weekend at rural hospitals. There are moving passages about his love for Patti and the bonds he developed with other residents, and empathetic evocations of those he treats. Collins describes powerfully how he came to understand that his calling was not just to develop as a skilled surgical technician, but to treat his patients humanely as individuals.
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*Starred Review* If he didn't feel overwhelmed before the Mayo Clinic senior orthopedic surgery resident lobbed a beeper at him with the nonchalant order, "Cover for me," 29-year-old ex-cabdriver, ex-construction worker, and, at the time, brand-new resident Collins certainly did then. It was his first day on the job, and instantly he began fielding calls from staff nurses requesting orders for patients he hadn't laid eyes on. If it hadn't been for his innate sense of humor--brilliantly demonstrated in this memoir of his Mayo residency--and a sense of perspective derived from that experience, he might have failed. He didn't, and here he honors those who helped him along the way and those whom he helped. As a man who recognizes that he, too, makes his living with his hands, Collins anguishes over the options available to a carpenter who had severed four fingers. After assisting at a young cancer patient's leg amputation, only to learn later that she had died within months, anyway, he agonizes over what drew him to his profession in the first place and what could possibly keep him on course. "I wanted to be the guy who confronted the arbitrariness of life and strangled the unfairness out of it." Instead, while honing his craft, he learned from a Vietnam vet that the main thing patients deserve is compassion. If Collins' scalpel is as sharp as his pen, his patients are in capable hands, indeed. Donna Chavez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A very interesting read though a little sexist or narcissistic at times. It was not entirely my taste at all points, but was interesting and honest.Published 2 days ago by Cole Nordin
Fun stuff for those who want to vicariously experience the excitement and fear of being a surgical resident. Collins writes with a lively, humorous style.Published 19 days ago by Max Martini
Absolutely love this book. I recommend everyone who is pre-med read this book before going into medical school. It's very insightful.Published 29 days ago by xena
An awesome book...I couldn't put it down! It tells of a M.D. orthopedic surgeon in traing and is filled with with pathos, despair...hope and joy. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kindle Customer
This is a wonderful book. I love Dr. Collins’ hilarious sense of humor. I was actually laughing aloud through much of it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by David B. Crawley
This was an enjoyable and insightful book. It made you comfortable and transported you to the moments the author lived through his experience. Read morePublished 3 months ago by porkrind276
Super entertaining and gives readers a great picture of what it was like to complete an orthopedic surgery residency in the early 80's.Published 3 months ago by Braden Smith
Very enjoyable reading, fast paced. Author opens up about the background of residency and the life of a residentPublished 4 months ago by dj