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Intern Blues

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  896 Ratings  ·  50 Reviews
The intern year is the toughest time in a doctor's life. Literally a baptism by fire, internship must turn the average green medical school graduate into a seasoned physician. The typical intern is deprived of sleep, confronted with all manner of human misery, and, at least temporarily, driven slightly insane.

Robert Marion was ten years out of his own internship, and super
Mass Market Paperback, 528 pages
Published July 1st 1990 by Fawcett (first published 1989)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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May 20, 2008 Christine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone considering medical school
Well, this series of journal entries confirms that I will not become an MD in this lifetime. Considering how I get grumpy if I haven't eaten for 4 hours, I don't think I could make it through the grueling internship. Sorry, mom.
Feb 22, 2011 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. I can't imagine being that consistently sleep deprived and having to make as many life or death decisions as these doctors do...
Oct 25, 2011 Laura rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2006
Well, I finally finished reading this. It took some time, as it is a thick book and I've been pretty busy with school, but I got through it. I thought it was an interesting book and there was a lot I liked about it. From a medical standpoint it was fascinating to read about conditions I had never heard of before. I like how the author explained medical terms in bold; many of them I was already familiar with and the format made it easy for me to skip the explanation and pick the story back up. I ...more
Aug 06, 2014 Rin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medicine, autobigrapy
I think what made this book worse (read: best) is that these people were working with young children and it affected them all differently. This book was an accurate description of how medicine can affect a young doctor. I liked them all, but I especially liked Amy because of her family dynamics, And Andy because he seemed the most depressed and home sick. These stories were so realistic but ended somewhat positively. All of the interns felt like they grew into better residents, even if they stro ...more
Aug 06, 2007 Elin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, medicine
Again, reading this book makes me really happy not to be doing my internship or residency in the US. No way could I be on-call every 3rd night and then function normally! I mean really, you expect your doctor to be smart, edaucated and to make the right decisions - it's just that they haven't slept for 36 hours....

As far as I understand the 3 young doctors in this book finished their internships in the late 80's so I hope their experience is not the same as that of interns today!
Aug 07, 2011 Kyvan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading about the medical world is much different than the idea most people have about it. This book is such a raw and honest account of what it's like to be an intern. Wanting to enter the medical field myself, I thoroughly enjoyed the accounts in this book. For anyone who is considering or just interested in medicine.
I read this for the project I'm working on about a small town doctor. I was looking for insight into the intern experienc,e which I got. This is regarded as a classic, and though it's dated, 1980s, something tells me the grueling intensity of internship has not changed a lot. My doc was an intern in 1970s in a big city hospital like the 3 interns who tell their stories in Intern Blues. So I suspect their experience was pretty close to his. What I hadn't anticipated was what I'd learn from the me ...more
Jun 02, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
I discuss the book here:

A good collection of memoirs of 3 interns working in various clinics. Some of the content, about 1/5, addresses the personal lives of the interns which I was not interested in, but I understand the editors intention to show how the job affects all aspects of the intern's life. The book portrays the intern fairly negatively, not in the sense of criticism, but in the sense of despair. Not only are the hours grueling, but the working e
711Isabel B
I have been totally blown away by the contents of the book, "The Intern Blues," by Robert Marion.
Dr. Marion enlisted three medical interns (doctors in their first ear of residancy), torecord their experiences in a tape recorder. The three interns did just that, and the outcome was amazing. Even though it has been very unchanged though out the entire book, somehow it has held me captive.

What I found really interesting was that the contents of three different people in their residency all had unbe
What do you suppose it would do to you if for a year you worked over 100 hours a week, sometimes for 36 hours in a row, got paid practically nothing, had life and death responsibility thrust upon you while you were unsure of your ability to handle it, were frequentl awakened in the middle of the night to do mindless scut work, and saw death, pain and grief on a daily basis? The Intern Blues gives answers to that question from three young doctors doing a pediatric internship in big New York hospi ...more
Jul 22, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoirs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 26, 2012 Syncretism rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medical
This is a book I wish I had found during my second year in med school. My PA program had an internship year, which mirrors residency internship. I think this book would have helped me be prepared for the stress, depression, loneliness, and sleep deprivation that occurred during my internship year. I also think it would have allowed others not in the field to have a glimpse into what I was going through, as no one ever seemed to truly grasp what was happening to me.

Unlike House of God, this book
Duc Hoang
This was a hard read. It started out rather nice, with all the sentiment of Andy and the sense of humour of Mark, and Amy, Amy's part wasn't really interesting to me. Then before you know it, things get darker, gloomier. It seems like there is at least one tragedy every page: child abuses, problems concerning medical ethics, but mostly, deaths. During this time, it got harder to read, the interns all dreaded on with their problematic experiences. It was terrible. It's like reading the newspaper ...more
Sep 26, 2009 Imran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although this book is slow at times, I love the ingenious way it was produced: the transcripted recordings of three pediatric interns. For this reason, the book is exceptionally interesting since you get information unadulterated and in real time. The book takes place before the work hours restrictions but the daily life-decisions, complicated patients, the stress of uncertainty, and the endless work remain true. I’m glad there now are restrictions, however loosely complied with. This book gives ...more
Talal Fazmin
Sep 10, 2016 Talal Fazmin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of the biggest influences contributing toward me choosing to study medicine. It provides an emotional, raw and gritty insight into the working lives of junior doctors, whilst not giving a rose-tinted view of it. I highly recommend reading this to those contemplating pursuing a career in clinical medicine.
Carol Waters
I have worked in hospitals most of my life. My personal belief is that the training of interns has long been barbaric and abusive. But these interns knew the score when they accepted the assignment. This book didn't address much about the changes of character that a person undergoes while in training for any profession. There was no pride, no acceptance of limitations or of skills. It seemed more about endurance, survival, and whining. Lots of whining. Had they not heard rumors about how hard th ...more
Debi Montana
Jul 11, 2009 Debi Montana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these kinds of books. It is series of short stories, vignettes about the trials and tribulations of becoming a doctor from the viewpoint of the medical student turned intern. What is the most scary to me is the number of important decisions the interns make every day on an extremely limited amount of sleep! That is not a good feeling as a frequent flyer at any one of several Boston teaching hospitals.....
The other side of it is the recognition that doctors go through such rigorous trainin
Jun 27, 2015 Sabra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty dated. Really couldn't stand Amy and how she seemed to feel she deserved special treatment because she had opted to have a child. And the way she referred to the babies in the NICU as "things." That was really disturbing
Mar 06, 2012 Megan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an enjoyable read, though outdated. Even though we work fewer hours, do not do call, and are not put in life-or-death situations, I identified with many of the thoughts and feelings of the interns. It was interesting from an historical perspective to see how the AIDS crisis was just beginning to unfold when the book takes place, in 1985 (only 20 children with AIDS across 3 hospitals; the interns only sometimes wore gloves and a worldwide shortage of rubber had just occurred because rubb ...more
Margaret Heller
The story of what happens to people working 100+ hour weeks with 36 hours at a stretch with no sleep in life and death conditions. It's pretty terrible sounding, but good doctor in training stories. Luckily most of these rules have been changed by now--this takes place in 1985-1986. All these doctors were training in pediatrics (and this is set when I was a baby, so interesting to see what would have happened in my care--though luckily I never had any emergencies after my initial birth by c-sect ...more
Feb 14, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, md-to-be
The diary format lends itself well to the tales of these interns, whose stories are equal parts inspiring, exhausting and invigorating. I read this as a senior in high school and it didn't scare me off from pursuing a Pre-Med track in college. What it did do was to give me the first glimpse into the unglamorous backdrop of the medical profession.

I would highly recommend this book for Pre-Meds and family/friends of future doctors. I came away from this book having learned a little more about med
Rose Li
Aug 18, 2014 Rose Li rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book taught me so much
Tine Libets
Jun 12, 2014 Tine Libets rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jan 01, 2011 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
As someone who will eventually be undergoing a year of medical internship, this book quite honestly frightened me. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is a year or two away from starting their internship - but I would recommend it to their friends and loved ones. The systems and customs of post-graduate medical education are somewhat bizarre from an outside perspective, and the honesty and openness of the interns' diaries helps make sense of them.
François D'assisi
A must-read for anyone considering the medical field.
Ivy Orchid
Oct 13, 2013 Ivy Orchid rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was so nice to read something that helps me see that people that become doctors aren't perfect. They have struggles and are just as human as I am. I'm working on my undergraduate, and there are days I just get so depressed that I wont make it or that I'm not good enough. Its nice to know I'm not alone. The one intern 'Mark' had a great sense of humor and I would just start laughing at some of the things he'd say, he is my favorite.
I thought the preface of the book seemed a bit defensive, because of how dated the book is. I was fascinated by the daunting workload that used to be forced on medical interns, and I loved that all the medical terms were defined, but unfortunately one of the interns was kind of a tool. I think his name was Mark. I was irritated by the way he said he wanted to kill the preemie who kept trying to die, and his sarcasm was painfully unfunny.
Jul 04, 2013 Morgan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, medical
Somewhat outdated account of medical internship. The book follows three medical interns and their supervisor for their first year of internship. It's set in 1985, so many changes have occurred since it was published. The most interesting part, for me, was seeing where the three interns ended up fifteen years later.
Chris Desmottes
started off really liking this book, it was originally published in the 80's, but still pretty relevant. but it got kind of tedious and i skimmed the last 1/3. it is about three interns and their first year of internship. real eye opener as to what docs have to deal with - don't know how they do it!
Apr 20, 2015 Genevieve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is an unapologetic and uncensored look into the world of a medical intern. While the laws and landscape have changed, the insight is still very much worthwhile. I found it fascinating and disheartening all at the same time. We sure put our doctors through hell.
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