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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An intensely personal and truthful account...If you are considering a career in emergency medicine, you must read this book. -- Eugenia Quackenbush, MD, FACP Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
Austin...can turn the simplest procedure into an occasion for elegy...phrased with the elegance of Thoreau. -- David Bradley, author of The Chaneysville Incident
Moving, troubling, and revelatory...[Austin] tells a story of disturbing power. -- Joy Castro, author of The Truth Book
[Austin] shows us something universal about how we all break and heal each other and ourselves. -- Rachel DeWoskin, author of Foreign Babes in Beijing