Patrick Henderson's Reviews > The House of God

The House of God by Samuel Shem
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's review
Aug 30, 2007

it was amazing
bookshelves: hilarious
Recommended for: ANYONE going into medicine in any capacity...and anyone attached to said people
Read in August, 2001

I read this in college, then again my first year of medical school, then again my last year of medical school, then again during my internship, and I'm reading it once more now as a senior resident. Along with the television show Scrubs, it's the most accurate portrayal of American medicine that I'm familiar with. I gave it to my father and he called me saying that he wanted to go medical school. I gave it to my mother and she called me crying, asking if my job really is as bad as Shem makes it out to be.

I think when it first came out it must have been truly shocking. Though today, with so much of medicine being patient-directed (and not physician-directed), I think you could look as this as a quaint little black mark on American history -- like the old cartoon cigarette commercials, or the movie "Freaks".

Yeah but the thing is...a ton of this still rings true. The essence of medical care continues to be placement. Gomers still, without fail, go to ground. Any medical student who doesn't triple my time is worth his or her weight in gold.

There's a rumor that the Fat Man was fired from his position due to his indiscretions which were detailed in this book, which is a shame. I continue to learn from him even at this stage in my career.
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03/05/2016 marked as: read

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Jurate when i started my studies at the university of medicine i was satisfied and self confidence that i can study medicine.i read this book after my first year at medical school. and it affected me. i am not going to say that i will give up and throw studies. no, i am not so naive person who see world in pink. but i also can't believe that it's only that black in medicine. what i see in that book it is too much skepticism. it's like author wanted to write a book that would shock readers and in that way become more popular. if it is so bad why people still want to study and work?

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