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April 18, 2015 / Leslie

Audiobook Memoir: A Physician’s First Year

A Rapid Review

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly by Matt McCarthy

RealDoctorPublisher: Random House | April 2015
Format: Audio Download | 9 hours | Rating: 3½ stars
Audio Listening Level: Easy

This funny, candid memoir of McCarthy’s intern year at a New York hospital provides a scorchingly frank look at how doctors are made, taking readers into patients’ rooms and doctors’ conferences to witness a physician’s journey from ineptitude to competence.

This is indeed a very candid look at what a newly minted doctor faces as a first year resident. And in turn it’s a very scary look at what a patient admitted to a teaching hospital can encounter as well. I have a healthy fear of doctors and hospitals, and what I read here confirms much of it. Residents are literally tossed into the line of fire and expected to ‘learn’ on the job. Scary to think about and compelling to read.

The author’s writing style is engaging and at times even humorous. The book reads like a journal of his time at the hospital but doesn’t delve into anything more personal about himself or any of the patients stories. I liked the book, but thought it could have been a little more in-depth.

Audio production:
The book is narrated by the author. Memoirs are usually a good choice for audio over print and yet I am hesitant to recommend the audio. On the plus side, the author has a nice voice and in telling his own story it adds a level of authenticity. On the negative side, it is a bit uneven and at times choppy—but still very listenable. This was probably more noticeable to me because I listen to so much audio and so many Audie winning performances.

Audio Sample:

An Under My Apple Tree Rapid Review
Source: Review copy provided by Random House Audio.
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Leave a Comment
  1. Kay / Apr 18 2015 1:20 pm

    I saw this book somewhere and remember because of the cover. My daughter is a nurse and when she began her nursing career, she was at a teaching hospital. It was crazy busy all the time. And she had a lot to say about the interns and residents that she worked with. Even though she was new, her nursing degree required a lot of what they called clinicals or basically hands-on nursing experience while still in school. She felt that she had a lot more experience than most of the doctors and she said you didn’t even want to get the experienced nurses started. She’s a labor/delivery nurse and said that more of the time, the nurses instructed the new doctors what to do or ended up delivering the babies. LOL


    • Leslie / Apr 18 2015 1:50 pm

      First I’ll say that’s a horrible cover! I read the blurb and from that I decided to read the book.

      The author does comment a bit on how unprepared he felt, and that maybe more schooling would be beneficial. But he also says that the hands-on experience is a much better teacher than another year of med school would have been. Well, I agree, unless it’s you or your family member who is getting the inexperienced care. And yes, I trust the nurses more than the residents!


  2. BermudaOnion / Apr 18 2015 3:56 pm

    This sounds scary and interesting at the same time.



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