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In Stitches

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,460 ratings  ·  219 reviews
Scrubs meets David Sedaris in this hilarious fish-out-of-water memoir about a young Korean-American nerd turned renowned plastic surgeon.

Dr. Tony Youn grew up one of two Asian-American kids in a small town where diversity was uncommon. Too tall and too thin, he wore thick Coke-bottle glasses, braces, Hannibal Lecter headgear, and had a protruding jaw that one day began to
Hardcover, 271 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Gallery Books
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,460 ratings  ·  219 reviews

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Smithbmd Smith
Mar 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic!!! One of the only books that I've ever read that captures both the humor and heart of medicine. This is also much more than a book about med school. It's a hilarious journey from nerdy outsider to celebrity plastic surgeon with interesting cultural perspectives (the author is Korean American and grew up in rural Michigan with a "Tiger Father".) If you want a "typical" med school book, well this is not it! Ranks up there with classics like House of God. Highly recommended. ...more
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was ok
In this memoir, Dr. Youn takes us from his childhood, growing up as the son of an OB/GYN and a member of the only Asian family in a small Michigan town, to his decision to become a plastic surgeon. The narrative ends on Match Day, when we learn where he'll go do his residency.

There are parts of this story that are memorable. His portrayal of his childhood--as a nerdy, ethnically self-conscious boy trying to fit in while juggling his parents' expectations--is both funny and touching. He shares an
Jan 18, 2016 rated it it was ok
The vast majority of this book is awful. It's less about Youn becoming a doctor and more about him desperately chasing women.

I thought that because we're both Asian, because I currently live in Michigan, and because I work in healthcare, this book would be right up my alley. It was not. Youn, for most of the book, is just an unlikeable guy. I know this is kind of his coming of age story: he makes mistakes, he learns from them, he grows up. But he's kind of an immature brat. Another reviewer des
Tim Chamberlain
May 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
A funny and touching memoir that puts doctors in a new light.

In a story that opens up the world of the med school student, Anthony Youn also delivers the story of his personal journey in ways that are both heartfelt and hilarious.

In Stitches is the story of Youn (also known as Tony) and how he became a successful plastic surgeon. He is driven by his strict, over-achieving Korean father to become a doctor, and not just any doctor--Tony should become a surgeon. His father’s belittling of other med
Karen Ng
May 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: asia, medical, humor, advice
I love funny and heart-warming memoirs, and this one is one of, if not the best. I'm glad I didn't know Dr. Tony Youn is so well-known, otherwise I would have missed out on this little gem of a book, due to the fact that I usually avoid books written by Hollywood celebrities and the like.

Youn, a Korean American raised by very old-fashioned and stern Asian parents, recounted his childhood experiences up to and included his 4 years of medical school. His father, an OB/gynecologist, decided that To
Jan 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is the memoir of a young plastic surgeon that people may know from the Rachael Ray Show. A friend said she loved the book, so although a medical memoir written with a ghost writer is not the sort of thing I would have picked up on my own, I decided to try it. Very interesting.

The doctor in question has a self-deprecating sense of humor, faces some big challenges, and demonstrates a level of kindness that you hope for in any doctor.

Anthony Youn grew up grew up in a tiny Michigan town, where
Amy Brown
This was so funny! I didn't expect it to be, but I really enjoyed it. Read it for my reading group: From Left to Write. It's the memoir of Tony Youn-about his years growing up as the only Asian in his small Michigan town, to his years in Med School. I learned some things about Med School, too. Tony's voice is fresh and hilarious. A good read! ...more
Apr 27, 2011 rated it liked it
In this introspective and witty memoir, Anthony Youn, a young Korean doctor, shares the passage of his life from early childhood and adolescence to his frantic foray through medical school, culminating in his residency in plastic surgery. Though Anthony is a smart youngster and a dedicated student, he’s not very popular with his classmates during his formative years. Adding to this problem is the unending pressure from his father, a Korean immigrant who has become a successful obstetrician. Afte ...more
Alyce (At Home With Books)
May 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
In Stitches is a great book to read if you have ever wondered what life is like in medical school. Anthony Youn takes the reader on a quick tour of his childhood years and then delves into the study-filled days and nights of life as a medical student.

During those years of college, his obsessions seemed to be split equally between his studies and his desire to find a girl who would stick around long enough for a second date (or even make it to the end of the first one). His self-deprecating humor
Scott Foshee
Pleasantly Readable, but Disappointing

“In Stitches” by Anthony Youn, M.D. is a lightweight, readable and occasionally funny memoir about growing up Asian in a small Michigan town, going to medical school, and becoming a plastic surgeon. He is awkward in high school to say the least, and has to undergo brutal plastic surgery on his jaw as a child to correct its abnormal growth. His parents are Korean and his doctor father pushes and pushes (and pushes) Youn to become a surgeon. Youn’s self-deprec
May 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I have read several books about students and their path to becoming a doctor, but the one Anthony Youn wrote about his path is by far the best of the bunch. I read this is one night and didn't want the stories to end! I am now demanding a sequel about his stories, both heartwarming and humorous in his next journey of being a plastic surgeon. I had no idea he was on so many television programs, but now that I know his name and looked at a few You Tube videos, I am going to start checking out this ...more
Leon Keylin
Sep 23, 2011 rated it really liked it
This one is about a (now) famous plastic surgeon. [...]

The book is about Anthony Youn, a Korean American who was brought up by a very conservative (read: typical Korean) household. The expectations, because his father was a GYN, were set high for the Youn's siblings and he writes about how it was not just growing up in a Korean family but also about growing up in America as an Asian.

While I share many of his trials, the appeal to me was more about his tribulations on dating. Or lack thereof. T
Julian Maldonado
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
"In Stitches", a book about plastic surgery and identity definitely changed my perspective on self-image. Originally, I though plastic surgery was for wealthy people who wanted to be more attractive. After reading the book, I now know that plastic surgery helps people with serious confidence and self esteem problems, as well as people with physical deformities that hurt them. This reason, among others, is why I really loved this book. In summary, the main character is a first generation immigran ...more
Apr 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A great book! Dr. Youn is so honest about his journey through college and med school; you really feel the struggles and cheer for the milestones reached that lead you to the final day when he becomes a doctor. It is also a funny and easy read. Even though I'm not a doctor; I'm glad to know that graduate students, no matter what field, at some point live through all nighters on Mountain Dew and Snickers. ...more
Sandy Jones
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Hilarious! I laughed and cried. This is not at all the book I expected to be written by a plastic surgeon. It is humble, funny, and touching. I was up at 3 am laughing so hard my husband woke up and asked me what was going on. A must read from a first time author! Tony Youn is like David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, and Scrubs all in one. You will not regret reading this one.
Jenee Rager
Feb 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
It's hard to be entertaining and informative but Anthony Youn does. I had no prior knowledge of his career, or even him until I picked up this book, but I found myself loving it. I have a child who wants to go to medical school when she grows up so this book kind of gave me an idea of what she would have to prepare for, both good and bad. All in all a good story I'm glad I read. ...more
Sharyl Sicoli
Jun 14, 2012 rated it really liked it

Didn't really enjoy the book until chapter six..... And then I started to remember all the stories of my husband and his journey through medical school.....the author truly captures what a wild ride it is.....and the patients and doctors you never forget.... No matter how tired you are......
Stacey Crossman
Jul 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Hilariously raw book about life growing up through becoming a well respected surgeon. His stories take you back to the pressures of being a kid and growing up not knowing what you were "suppose" to but what you had to do. One of my favorite books I've ever read. ...more
Erin Schwane
Jun 21, 2011 rated it it was ok
I enjoyed learning about medical school life but did not find this book to be well written. The attempts at humor and sarcasm were often too forced-sounding.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, memoir, humor
Absolutely hysterical! Many, many laugh out loud moments. And yet, some very emotionally charged experiences that are anything but funny. You just can't help pulling for Dr. Youn!! ...more
Jul 29, 2011 marked it as to-read
I just won this book free as a goodreads giveaway! I am waiting to read it. Thanks.
Judith K. Anderson

This book made me laugh out loud and cry so hard! It was wonderful. Way to go , Tony. Perfect.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Tony's decision to become a doctor was made at dinner, one night when he was seven years old. But being a doctor is the least on his mind. He desperately wants to fit in which is hard when you're practically the only Korean in a midwestern town. Goaded by his father, Tony goes to medical school, studying non-stop, dating (or at least attempting to) and just becoming frustrated in general.

A heart-touching and hilarious memoir, In Stitches gives you the inside scoop on the journey every medical st
I admit, this book made me laugh out loud several times. But that doesn't mean that the author isn't somewhat off-putting. The vignettes in this book fall in these categories:
* His Korean father's parenting style ("Family practice? Work all day, all night, weekend, make no money. Go broke! Surgery only thing. [...] Surgery! One proceejah, two thousand dollah!" p 187 Later, "If you want to go into family practice, it's okay. [...] You go broke. You probably have to move back home. But, that's fin
Pooc Hai
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it

Though I'll never know which parts were extremely exaggerated or put in for comedic purposes, I liked this book's style.

The reviews below point out the manner in which he describes or talks about women or how this might sound like it's written for a "white male audience", but for me, his honesty and humor very much humanized him as a doctor.

Also, let's be honest; even if doctors and physicians are considered healers, are they not allowed to have lustful desires and to enjoy the occasional free
Hamdia Mohamed
Mar 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I selected In Stitches because it looked really interesting. Am pretty sure you know am so obsessed with Koreans. And the prologue was really interesting and was a relatible book to most people. The first time i saw it i predicted that this books was like a doctors books because the name and cover was obvious, it was actually like about someone's point of view about their life. This book is actually a good and a great book in my opinion. i was actually amazed at the authors experience about his ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Though I can see where the other reviews are coming from in describing the possibly offensive humor in this book, I found Dr. Youn's anecdotes entertaining and he writes in a light, sharp, yet realistic way that kept me engaged.

Medicine is a noble and humble path, sure. But as a pre-med, I recognize that many future and current physicians are humans. We have our own flaws, biases, occasional snarky thoughts, and opinions.

It was refreshing to see this side of human nature contrasted with an indi
Sep 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for every burnt out physician.

I absolutely LOVED it! I laughed out loud every other page and became tearful a couple of times. Reading this book transported me to my time in medical school so vividly it felt like Dr. Youn and I could’ve been classmates—surprising considering that I attended medical school in a different country and only came to the US for specialty training. Remembering those times when becoming a doctor was a big dream, and when every new procedure was a big deal he
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not easy to capture 4 years of Med School in just 268 pages, but Dr Youn brilliantly succeeded in doing so. The book blossoms the same way as long Tony grew up for his future profession while studying, in fact grueling during his years in the medical school. Fantastic journey captured with LoL humor, giving a first hand reflection of emotional, physical and mental roller- coaster ride.

It put me off through the initial pages, due to the obvious display of sexual desires of (all) the medical
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Are there any other medical books that make you laugh and cry? 1 9 Mar 27, 2011 05:21AM  

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I am a plastic surgeon and anti-aging expert. I'm the author of the new memoir, "Playing God: The Evolution of a Modern Surgeon." My other published books include "In Stitches: A Memoir" and "The Age Fix: A Leading Plastic Surgeon Reveals How To Really Look Ten Years Younger."

I'm the host of the popular podcast "The Holistic Plastic Surgery Show" and a frequent guest on "The Rachael Ray Show," "Th

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