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What Patients Taught Me: A Medical Student's Journey
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What Patients Taught Me: A Medical Student's Journey

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Do sleek high-tech hospitals teach more about medicine and less about humanity? Do doctors ever lose their tolerance for suffering? With sensitive observation and graceful prose, this book explores some of the difficult and deeply personal questions a 23-year-old doctor confronts with her very first dying patient, and continues to struggle with as she strives to become a g ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Sasquatch Books (first published August 31st 2004)
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Ahmed
Actually this book turned out to be a little treat for me. I stumbled across this book by going through my wife's library and at first glance thought to myself: it seems a bit cheesy! But nonetheless, I've decided to give it a chance and read it.

It wonderfully chronicles the tale of a medical student who went through her clinical training in non-academic establishments far away from urban civilization. However, to me it was more than just a well written memoir. It opened my eyes towards a very
...more
Mary
After hearing that many foreign doctors practice in Yakima because it is considered an underserved rural community (medical-wise) I was interested in reading _What Patients Taught Me" because it related the experiences of the author in a medical education program run by the UW to increase the numbers of general practitioners in rural regions of Washington, Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. Apparently the program is successful. Young writes very well about her experiences, although she sometimes spends ...more
Emily
Dr. Audrey Young chronicles her varied clinical experiences through her medical school and training. Participating in a program designed to encourage physicians to consider rural medicine, Dr. Young travels from the bustling Seattle metropolis to the tiny town of Bethel, Alaska, for her first experience with “real” patients. Among the heavily Yupik Eskimo population, she begins to glimpse the depth of the challenges that physicians juggle. She discovers that the social and cultural context is vi ...more
Stephanie
What Patients Taught Me by Dr. Audrey Young was an incredible look into medical school rotations. Dr. Young spent her rotations in drastically different places from Seattle hospitals to rural clinics to Africa. Each place had different stories and different people. Each story touched me a different way and gave me insight into what it means to be a doctor.

This book was full of true stories, some I couldn't even believe happened to real people. But they did. And that is what makes this book so po
...more
Josephine Ensign
I liked this book of Young's much better than her more recent book The House of Hope and Fear. She does a good job of intertwining her own story of becoming a physician with stories of her patients across a range of settings in 'WWAMI-land' (Washington, Wyoming, Alaska,Montana, and Idaho)--as well as in her brief stint in Swaziland. Engaging and polished with the exception of the last chapter which seemed disjointed and unfinished to me.
Leeann
This book was okay. It opened my mind to the benefits of future doctors traveling.

maybe because I have no intentions of being a doctor I did not feel that the book made a lasting impression on me.

Audrey's travel tales were nice. she depicted her pain of losing an infant patient very well.

still, I would have loved to know more of the action. If she has a book about her experiences working in a Seattle emergency room, I'd love to read the memoir.
Scott
Excellent. I liked it a lot more than The House of God. It's hopeful and optimistic. She talks about the good aspects of being a doctor as well as the bad/tough/hard parts. She is part of this cool program at the University of Washington called WWAMI, which stands for Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, Idaho.

The school sends the medical students to rural clinics and hospitals in these places (the author also did a rotation in Swaziland) to learn about rural medicine. Practicing medicine in pl
...more
Julie Jennings
Young's writing is raw and heartfelt, giving you clear insight into the mission of providing care for those that are not easy to care for...a must read for those going into the health care field.
Duc Hoang
The book is fine, somewhat interesting but not really captivating. It lacks the intense feelings and excitements I got when reading Gawande's books. Nevertheless, there are stories from faraway lands like Alaska and Africa you may enjoy.

The WWAMI system seems promising, maybe we can try it here, in Vietnam so that the burdens on many central hospitals are lessened, patients get better healthcare, and doctors can do their job more efficiently.
Nancy
This is a short series of stories about the transition from book-learning to working with actual people. The stories are interesting but not riveting. While I finished it in one rainy day, it is probably best for a situation where you will be interrupted and want something easy to pick up and put down--perhaps a multi-transfer plane trip.
Ann
An interesting first person account of what medical school is like for a Dr. who chooses the less beaten path by doing residences in remote hospitals in Alaska, the West, etc. I enjoyed reading about the alternatives to med school that put Dr.'s in more direct contact with patients for a short time.
Kim
A very thoughtful memoir of Dr. Young's medical school rotations in various parts of the WAMI region. An easy, enjoyable read. I appreciated how she put so much effort into reflecting on her experiences and trying to understand how interactions with patient's impacted her.
Amber VanDuyn
Great look into the life of a medical student, the motivations of practicing medicine, and interesting patient cases. Also loved the details about the UW medical school and WWAMI program that are very real to me as a UW student. Easy to read and stay engaged in.
Heather
This book was somehow nowhere near as emotional and good or in the trenches as a memoir from a med student could be. i think the biggest thing you take away from it is rural versus urban medicine. i wanted more from it and was a bit disappointed.
Kimberley Smith



I find the author somewhat naive, as students usually are, fresh faced and optimistic with morals she has learnt from books. Quite clinical, but an ok read nonetheless.
Angela
Now I'm even more excited at the prospect of getting into UW and exploring WWAMI-land.
Jess
This book was okay, but not much more. It was an interesting read.
Jennifer
Sort of meandering, nothing terribly profound to say.
Patrick Ackley
This is a great read by a terrific story teller.
Amy
Interesting, but not an attention-grabber.
Sue
Loved it! Sweet little book.
Heidi
got boring very quickly..
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