Intern Blues
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Intern Blues

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  475 ratings  ·  38 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...more
Mass Market Paperback, 10 pages
Published July 1st 1990 by Fawcett (first published 1989)
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Christine
May 20, 2008 Christine rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Elin
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!
Andrew
A good collection of memoires 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 environment can be hostile not only from residents who oversee t...more
Kyvan
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.
Sarah
Fascinating. I can't imagine being that consistently sleep deprived and having to make as many life or death decisions as these doctors do...
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...more
Mazola1
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
Kim
Jul 22, 2011 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: memoirs
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Syncretism
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...more
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
Laura
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
Imran
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
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
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...more
Megan
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
Emily
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...more
Laura
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.
Ivy Orchid
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.
Laura
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.
Morgan
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!
Rebecca
This book was dated, but still illuminates some of the challenges facing medical students and they become doctors. It was especially interesting to read the afterword, where the author follows up with the interview subjects 20 years later.
Katie
I am fascinated by the process of education that doctors in United States go through. And the stories! I wish doctors in other countries wrote memoirs like this, I'd love to learn about the differences.
Eddie
I read this and yes, I still want to be a doctor and suffer through internship. I just have to make sure that I have the people closest to me read this book whenever I get there...
Hy
This is basically a journal of three interns and a mentor in a hospital in New York City. Reading this book makes me really hope that the new rules limiting intern hours are drastic.
Marisa
This was very interesting to read. The book follows Andy, Amy and Mark through a year of internship. It is written based on their recordings of their thoughts and feelings.
Angie

A must read for those aspiring to be a doctor...and an even better read for their family members as gives you an idea of what the first year of residency entails.
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