Dkattean's Reviews > Monday Mornings

Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta
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Mar 25, 2012

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Read from March 22 to 25, 2012 — I own a copy , read count: 1

In his first novel, Dr. Gupta gives us a glimpse of the intimate lives - both at work and at play - of a group of elite neurosurgeons at a teaching hospital in southeast Michigan. Though they are from widely disparate backgrounds, what they have in common is extraordinary ambition, compassion, and talent. Every third Monday at 6 a.m., the chief of surgery summons them to Room 311 for the Mortality and Morbidity (M&M) conference, where one unlucky surgeon is forced to explain the decisions leading up to a recent less-than-favorable patient outcome. The experience is both a source of shame for the physician in the hot seat and an opportunity to be ridiculed by his peers. It is also, hopefully, a teaching moment.

I really wanted to love this book. (I am a big fan of Dr. Gupta's work on CNN and 60 Minutes.) But I only liked it. My main criticism is that he seemed to dumb down the medicine a bit too much. For example, I didn't need to be told that a cerebral aneurysm is "a small blister on the surface of an artery" in the brain. Also, there was a sense of an unfinished ending. I'd spent 300 pages really getting to know this multicultural cadre of surgeons, and though they all had certain likeable qualities, I did come to care about some more than others. To his credit, Dr. Gupta's characters were multidimensional and flawed - in other words, just like real human beings. Being told on the last page that Dr. [one of my favorites] was "out of the picture" was a disappointment. I had expected a more definitive resolution to that particular storyline.

Despite its modest flaws, this was an entertaining, fast read that reflected Dr. Gupta's wealth of experience in the field of neurosurgery. I'd be inclined to read more by Dr. Gupta if he represses the urge to explain that a Foley catheter is a tube for drainage of urine.
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03/23/2012 page 78
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