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Intern: A Doctor's Initiation
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Intern: A Doctor's Initiation

3.66  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,833 Ratings  ·  252 Reviews
Intern is Sandeep Jauhar's story of his days and nights in residency at a busy hospital in New York City, a trial that led him to question our every assumption about medical care today. Residency—and especially the first year, called internship—is legendary for its brutality. Working eighty hours or more per week, most new doctors spend their first year asking themselves w ...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published 2008 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published December 26th 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Mar 28, 2013 Lobstergirl rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lobstergirl by: Dagobert O'Gara
Shelves: got-rid-of, memoir

Dr. Jauhar seems like a pretty narcissistic douche. His personal career struggles, the difficulty he has in deciding what profession to pursue, and his moderate depression and ennui in the midst of stressful situations are, he will be surprised to hear, much less interesting than the anecdotes of the hospital patients under his care. His and his brother's (also a physician) douchiness are not unexpected given their parents' attitudes: get out of academia, where you will never be successful but w
Sep 05, 2009 Shelah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit that I'm curious about the lives of the doctors who care for me and my family. How many kids do they have? Where do they go on vacation? Are they happy? But if they're not happy, do I really want to know? In Intern, Sandeep Jauhar describes the crisis he went through during his intern year (the first year after medical school-- a hellish, hazing sort of year when doctors are on call every third or fourth night and work LONG hours the other days). It's an interesting, well-written book ...more
Mar 25, 2012 Adrienne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn't even bother finishing this book--the author's attitude grated and grated to the point where I was actively angry with him. His self-absorption knows no ends. Everything--including the woe felt by a young man diagnosed with testicular cancer--comes back to his comparatively trivial existential angst about his career choice, which gets incredibly old before the book is even a third of the way finished. And if the self-absorption isn't enough? Worry not--you get a nice heaping helpi ...more
This book was different than I had expected it to be. I had expected it to be funnier than it was...more along the lines of "The Nanny Diaries" but for doctors.

That said, I still enjoyed the book. As others have said, Dr. Jauhar's writing style is sensitive and insightful, but also a bit self-indulgent at times. After all, most professionals have moments of doubt, have major hurdles to overcome in their education or when they are a rookie, and will continue to have hurdles through their careers.
Nov 20, 2009 Mazola1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great trial attorney once told me that a plaintiff's attorney should never leave a nurse on the jury. His reasoning was that nurses make unsympathetic jurors because the suffering they see in their jobs makes them jaded and insensitive. A kernel of truth lies at the heart of that stereotype. The same kernel of truth provides much of the dramatic tension in Sandeep Jauhar's insightful memoir about his medical training. Dr. Jauhar's story is not only the story of his struggle to learn his craft, ...more
Apr 15, 2015 Holly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2014-reads
An incredible book, really. I listened to the audio version and if the Overdrive listing is correct it was read by the author himself - a fact that rather astounds me as it was so well-performed: clear diction and pacing, and no shifts in volume or under-talking - and emotional, too.

It's a memoir of the author's medical education and days as an intern but it's so much more: graphic medical detail and diagnostic terminology, can-barely-look moments of near comedy, and Jauhar's aversion to bad sm
Dec 28, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful and ultimately frightening book! Continuing on my memoir kick, Jauhar's memoir about being a medical intern in a NYC hospital shows what an incredibly steep learning curve newly graduated doctors are on. It is astonishing to me how quickly Jauhar goes from knowing little in his first year as an intern to being quite competent even by the second year. He recognizes how brutal the internship is with respect to hours etc. I get the sense that the biggest casualty from tiredness is ...more
Apr 21, 2011 Apta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Be not afraid of greatness: some men are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them."
William Shakespeare, "Twelfth Night"

What leads a man into the 'noble career' of medicine? The answer to that question is deeply personal and for some of us, has not yet been answered concretely.

Yet, we practice medicine every day. We make the tough decisions demanded of us, work the long hours and give it the focus it demands.

What lies in the transformation from the naive, un
Ellie Revert
Sep 24, 2009 Ellie Revert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Ellie by: good review
We have a favorite nephew, Doug, who has recently finished his intern year, and is now into his residency. The author seems to have been pulled in many directions, and was rarely sure of the wisdom of his choice of medicine. I think he truly portrayed that intern year--and how does anyone survive that?

This book is timely in that it talks about end of life care. And about DNR--DO NOT RESUSITATE. And I was reading it as Pres Obama is trying to finally settle healthcare for all Americans. Like the
Jun 28, 2009 Sonia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was completely in love with this book for the first few chapters. It was exactly the kind of book I needed to read at this point in my life. Jauhar is reluctant, anxious, frightened even, of starting his internship year. He is a Californian relocating to New York City, and he has a love of writing that makes him question his career choices. Sound familiar? At first sympathetic to the author, for all his indecision and all his qualms about medicine. However, about halfway through the book, I ju ...more
Mar 26, 2011 Tung rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirs
The practice of medicine is endlessly fascinating because it involves people and life and death and unique medical cases. For me, Atul Gawande is the model for how to tell all of that fascination in a way that is both engaging and illuminating. Intern is Jauhar's take – a memoir of his journey from being a Physics doctoral student to his years of internship at New York Hospital. Internship is the boot camp for doctors, the exhausting period where doctors both learn their craft and test their met ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Lua rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the author's story of his medical training to be a compelling read. I appreciated his honesty when writing about the problems inherent in the way that doctors are trained, as well as the stories that highlight the gray areas when it is unclear whether treatments are helping or hurting the patient. The author weaves his personal stories into the narrative, along with the stories of his patients. Since most of us will end up in the hospital at one point or another, with a relative or for o ...more
Leo Lakpa
Jan 04, 2016 Leo Lakpa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent memoir of Dr. Jahur's journey of becoming a physician. Full of compelling stories of his insecurities, naiveties, and triumphs he went through during his rigorous years of residency.
Jan 15, 2015 Nshslibrary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Intern, by Dr. Sandeep Jauhar, is a study in pompousness, and lack of conviction. In addition, he warped the timeline of the stories he was telling, so that the reader gets a story about a patient, and then receives another one about a patient who had left the hospital before the first one was even admitted. It was supposed to aid the flow of the story, but just ended up disrupting the flow of the book. The intention was to detail Dr. Jauhar’s first year as a practicing doctor, and for us to fol ...more
Lauren Mcphillips
I read this book curios about the early stages of a doctors career. I was expecting a humorous look inside intern year, the struggles, the triumphs, and all. To my surprise, as I continued to read waiting to finally get to the good stuff, I realized the book had a negative energy. The struggles of Dr. Jauhar are understandable, but this book focuses on his internal battle with medicine as a career. It gets old. He doesn't know why (or if) he wants to be a doctor. He describes the patients illnes ...more
Mar 14, 2014 Francoise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Almost as fascinating as the inside view of medicine and its training process seen by a practitioner is the view of his Indian family and how they push him along to a professional life. He stumbles along trying and not completing various professions, finally settling somewhat reluctantly on medicine. The strains of actual medical practice (patients dying, not knowing patients well enough, mistakes made and mistakes narrowly averted, the intrusions of intensive care, how communication with patien ...more
I didn’t expect to relate to Dr. Sandeep Jauhar: he’s a physician, while I’m an (arguably) failed academic who never considered a career in medicine because it didn’t intellectually engaging. Turns out, I’m kind of an asshole, but so is Dr. Jauhar, who got his PhD in Physics from UC Berkeley before becoming a failed academic himself, packing up, and matriculating at Washington University in Saint Louis’ Medical School. His issue with medicine is the same thing that kept me from really thinking a ...more
May 03, 2016 Sharon rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, medical
Sandeep Jauhar's path to becoming a medical doctor was not clear and, in fact, he was not sure he even wanted to practice medicine. Born into a family where being a doctor is a legacy, Sandeep finishes his PhD in physics and reports to medical school in the same week. Although choosing his ultimate career was paved with indecision, Dr. Jauhar ended up at New York Hospital to start his intern year.

I found Intern to be a little wordy in places and felt that the book could have been streamlined to
Feb 11, 2009 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
He's a whiner, but it was still fascinating to read about the patients he met and to get a more realistic portrayal of internship/residency than you get from watching Grey's Anatomy. It renewed my commitment to steer clear of hospitals for anything short of a life-threatening emergency. I definitely respect the profession, though.
Jake Cohen
Not bad. Through the first three quarters of the book, you really get the sense that he doesn't want to be a doctor and is just putting himself through this from a sense of duty to his parents and his own pride. But he also takes you on the journey of personal growth that lets you see just what he was going through (both the high points and the low) as he completed his residency.

In the end, it's a common story of coming into an established profession and thinking you're going to change everythin
Aug 28, 2009 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always like tales of discovery through intense experience. This particular doctor's account of his internship and residency unveiled some thought provoking encounters that me glad for what I am doing professionally. I am also pretty sure I never want to spend any time in an ICU anytime soon.
Anna Engel
The author is narcissistic and, in his unending self-reflections, seemed to forget why he wanted to write this book: to help other interns-to-be. Instead, he waffles and whines and wonders what he can do to impress those around him -- his parents, his brother, his friends, ALL the other doctors, interns, nurses, big-breasted and/or blond women, the cute patient with the green eyes, her blond mother.

Not patients though. Patient care seems to rank pretty low on the hierarchy of Things Dr. J Worri
Feb 22, 2014 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the truest reflections on medical training I've read. Dr. Jauhar's unvarnished stories of saving and losing patients, of medical mistakes and human errors, of personal and professional doubt is refreshingly direct and in that directness, deeply disturbing. Medical maxims echo after reading this book: "do no harm," "Don't just do something. Stand there!" and "sometimes ICU intervention does more harm than good," all show the complicated nature of the medical arts and sciences. Having been ...more
An intern at New York Hospital details his three year residency and his struggles to accept the foibles of medicine.

This is a very different medical memoir, in that the whole story is permeated with discontent and a feeling of not belonging. Dr. Jauhar struggles to see if he made the right decision in choosing the switch from physics to medicine. His exhaustion and discontent are real and present throughout, and while it's not necessarily a happy book, I think it's an important one for those who
Malin Friess
Mar 12, 2015 Malin Friess rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Intern is Jauhar's story of his Internship (first year of Residency with a brutal schedule of 80+ hours per week and on call every 4th night) at a prominent hospital in New York City. Jauhar comes from a competitive Indian family (with an older brother who is an interventional radiologist) and leaves his live as a physicist to enter medicine. Quickly Jauhar becomes disillusioned with medicine and questions his decision. He drops into a state of depression, avoids his girlfriend, has thoughts of ...more
I want to be a doctor so I am reading a bunch of my hese kinds of books. I couldn't wait to finish this book and check it off my list. He is so depressing. He whines about everything. So undecisive! He didn't go in with the right mindset. I have heard that residency is hard but it's not forever. Be grateful you got a residency spot. Just be grateful in general.

I feel bad for his wife. He doesn't seem to love her. He seems to have just settled with her.

The worst books I have read all year. I ga
Austin Gaghadar
May 05, 2016 Austin Gaghadar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed reading this book. Felt that it was very well written and was an eloquent mirror of many of the struggles I am currently grappling with. Reassuring to hear that not everyone knows where their life is going but they can still be successful. Also created a new respect for doctors and what they go through both to become a doctor and the hard decisions they have to make on a regular basis. Throughout the book there is a good balance of personal experience but also relating of these st ...more
Nov 08, 2009 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2008
I just finished Intern: A Doctor's Initiation by Sandeep Jauhar, a book that's competently described in this NYT review (so I'll skip the summary).

I enjoyed this book for its view into the chaos of the hospital and for the author's frank ambivalence. It reminded me of Final Exam by Pauline Chen, which is about her medical education and how it desensitized her to death even as she was surrounded by it. That book is a memoir as well an essay about the medical profession did, does, and should deal
Ryan Monaghan
Jul 28, 2013 Ryan Monaghan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of man doubting his interest in medicine, while simultaneously completing his harrowing internship year (the year between medical school and residency where a student first becomes a 'doctor', and a notoriously difficult trial by fire for any aspirant).

What I think I found most engaging about this story, quite unlike the book I was reading at the same time, was how human it really felt. It is from a first person perspective - in fact, it is essentially an autobiography - where
Jul 23, 2011 Kurt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a thoughtful and compassionate memoir of a doctor's journey through medical school, an internship, a residency, and beyond. I'm not a doctor, but my brother is a few months from the end of his psychiatry residency, so I was happy to see so many sentiments from Dr. Jauhar that seemed familiar to me. For the most part, the book focuses on personal observations of patients, but there are logical diversions to broader systemic observations about the U.S. health care system (I was particularl ...more
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