From Publishers Weekly
With a relentlessly honest look at modern emergency medicine, Austin, a former firefighter now living in Durham, N.C., writes in his debut book of his transformation to a highly capable ER doctor struggling to stay one jump ahead of death in the crowded critical care ward. The book begins deftly with Austin, a sleep-deprived physician, trying to avoid mistakes stemming from fatigue by relying on his instincts, frequently both skill and luck, to treat patients with gunshot wounds, brain tumors, asthma, heart ailments and general problems. In a narrative blur of flashbacks, he tells of his career as a firefighter before landing in medical school, which was followed by an internship at a local hospital and marriage to a lovely nurse and having a family. What makes this inspiring medical memoir stand out is the courageous measure of Austin's humanity in taking on the endless weight of suffering, and what he becomes to his co-workers, his patients, his family and his community. (Sept.)
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Starred Review. This vivid memoir of an ER doctor will make readers by turns cry and cringe. A definite page-turner and a riveting debut. (Library Journal)
Austin gives a stunning account of the chaos of the emergency room, the constant drama of urgent situations calling for immediate and decisive action. He pulls us inside the chronic exhaustion ER docs fight against and fully engages us in the difficult juggling doctors do. (Boston Sunday Globe)