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The Making of a Surgeon Gift Edition Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0922811465
ISBN-10: 0922811466
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Mid List Press; Gift Edition edition (May 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0922811466
  • ISBN-13: 978-0922811465
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #111,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I wanted to be a doctor; more I wanted to be a surgeon. In 1960's Houston, however, boys from public schools and working class families did not get ANY encouragement. One day, purely by accident (literally a draw from a hat) I was assigned to read The Making of a Surgeon. When I closed the book, I knew that I would someday make it. Why?
The central lesson of the book was that the best surgery residents were those that got up at night and actually saw patients. Dr. Nolen made it clear that surgery residency was primarily a matter of attention, compassion, and work. Not brilliance, not political connections, not a long family history in medicine. A real revelation for a small town Texas boy. I mean, I could work!
Some of the procedures are technically dated, and some diseases are hardly seen now, but the face of surgery residency in New Orleans in 1988 was remarkably similar to that in the New York of Dr. Nolen's book. The style is conversational and engaging. The only real regret is that Dr. Nolen will not be writing any more.
Should be required for every child that thinks they can't possibly be a surgeon.
1 Comment 41 of 42 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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By A Customer on February 3, 2001
I thought this was one of the best medical books I've read. The book was somewhat outdated though in its reference to surgical procedures and residency, but that also makes you appreciate the advancement of surgery over the last 30 years. I didn't really pay attention to how old the book was though, as the main point was Dr. Nolen's maturation from a clueless intern into a competent surgeon. He describes many different facets of surgical training from the first appendectomy to life outside of the hospital. I believe Dr. Nolen wrote an excellent book and meticulously gives a full perspective into the life a surgical resident. I enjoyed his writing style, which was very clear and straight forward. I think this book is a must read for anyone considering a surgical career.
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I've noted that many of the people who have thus far reviewed this work are involved in the medical profession. While Nolen's book is, no doubt, a great read for the professional, I believe it is just as interesting for the typical man on the street, or if you will, the potential patient.

I picked up the book almost by accident. Needing a book to read on a long flight, I almost thoughtlessly picked up an old copy off a friend's shelf. Once I started it, however, I found that it was every bit as engaging as the best page-turner. Dr. Nolen was apparently not only a brilliant surgeon, but a gifted writer. There are so many interesting facets to this book, I hardly know where to start.

As is the case with anyone who watched the old television show "ER" knows, doctors go through a number of years of practical training beyond the four years they spend in college and the four years they attend medical school. This in itself is amazing to me, as a typical residency is around four years also, most doctors will be 30 years old before they are able to start their individual careers. I believe Dr. Nolen spent five years in his surgical residency. This book focuses on that time period. As many of us are aware, the residency period is an incredible marathon. Nolen well-conveys the level of stamina the resident must possess, to the point where the up-and-coming resident must virtually give up all vestiges of a private life.

He also highlights the great divide between the internist and the surgeon. While I was aware of the technical differences in the way internists and surgeons approach treatment of the ill and injured, I had little idea of the great psychological divide between the two. In a way, the surgeon approximates the personality of a test pilot.
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2 Comments 3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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An excellent book! My father introduced me to this work, as he knew William Nolen personally, and in fact was a character in the book, Jack Lesperance. Our real last name is Peterson, but it was a pleasure to get some insight into my father's residency at Bellevue Hospital in NYC.
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I was looking for something that could be in the same line of House of God, this book.. although a little outdated, presented with the whole picture of surgery, the hardships, the informed judgement, the dealings with patients as well as colleagues, the whole concept of how-to-become-a-good-intern stuff. I really like the way he cares to pinpoint every important aspect about the case, how it went, what might have been diff and off course, what he learned.. and that too in a genuinely funny way. A simply remarkable piece!
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It grabbed my attention while I was looking for medical books. Being a medical student, I know the difficulty of getting personal details of the hard times an intern encounters. It's almost impossible to get an anecdote once they finish up and become a specialist (yes I know they may share one or two from time to time, but such numerous examples with details?) Dr. Nolen perfectly shares all his mistakes, his regrets, his experience and etc. A bit dated of course but you should stop to ask yourself, why such an old book like this (where the price of rent in New York were about 300$) is still in the hands of readers? I wished it was lengthier, couldn't put it down, flows smoothly, a good week read.
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