Tag Archives: Odd Man Out

Real Lives, Real Medicine

In medical school, Matt McCarthy dreamed of being a different type of doctor – the sort of mythical, unflappable physician who could reach unreachable patients. But when a new admission to the critical care unit almost died during his first night on call, he found himself scrambling. Visions of mastery faded as he prayed to simply survive a brutally demanding and challenging near-year as a new doctor.

The Real Doctor

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year by Matt McCarthy (Crown, $27.00, 323 pages)

“After 10 months of being an intern, I no longer experienced life like a normal person… I now viewed everything through the lens of medicine. It wasn’t something I had planned or particularly wanted, it just happened.”

The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly is a very well written, engaging and entertaining look at what Dr. Matt McCarthy – a one-time minor league baseball pitcher who wrote the memoir The Odd Man Out – calls the “wonderfully insane” world of medicine. While serving as an intern in New York City, McCarthy was to practice – in the most literal sense – at both the massive Columbia/NYU Medical Center with 2,478 beds and the small 201-bed Allen Hospital (Motto: “Amazing things are happening here.”). McCarthy experienced a needle stick early on while treating a patient with HIV and Hepatitis C. In this sense, he became a patient himself, receiving prophylactic treatment and resting while waiting to find out if he had infected himself with one or both of these conditions.

McCarthy draws on the reader’s empathy by focusing not just on himself but also on two infirm patients: Benny, a middle-aged, seemingly healthy individual waiting endlessly for a heart transplant donor; and Carl Gladstone, a university professor whose life is nearly destroyed by a sudden heart attack. We see that, as with many things in life, luck and timing may override fate.

McCarthy goes from being a resident “who had been practicing medicine for less than a week” to a full-fledged hospital physician and Cornell University assistant professor of medicine. It’s an amazing journey, one well worth experiencing.

Highly recommended.

Joseph Arellano

Note: If you enjoyed reading Complications, Better, or Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande or One Doctor by Brendan Reilly, M.D., you will want to consider reading The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly.

A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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She’s Gone Country

Jane Porter is the author of several successful popular fiction books including Easy on the Eyes, Flirting with Forty, Mrs. Perfect and Odd Man Out.   Her next book, She’s Gone Country, will be released on August 23, 2010.   Thanks to the folks at five spot and Hachette Book Group, we’re giving you a sneak peek right now.   The following is an excerpt from Chapter One.

Brick calls me on his cell about an hour later.   “That was the most boring sermon ever, Shey.   You owe me.”

I grin at the misery in his deep voice.   He might be the oldest and I might be the youngest but we’ve always been tight.   “You don’t have to pretend to like church just because she’s here,” I answer, taking a step outside the house to stretch and stand on the screened porch with its view of the oak lined drive.   More oak trees dot the pasture between the house and the six stall barn.   There’s not a lot else to see but trees, cows, and land.   Mama and Pop lived here for fifty-some years, and Pop’s parents before that.

“If it makes her happy,” he says.

“That’s why you’ll go to heaven and I won’t,” I laugh and ruffle my hair.   I’ve always gotten along well with all my brothers, but I enjoy teasing Brick the most, probably because he takes his job as the oldest so damn seriously.   “You all on your way home now?”

“No.   We’re going for breakfast.   Mama’s still worked up, and Charlotte thought a good hot meal would put her in a better mood, especially when she’s driving back to Jefferson this afternoon.   Don’t want her on the road when she’s in a mood.”

“No, we certainly don’t.   So where are you going, and are we invited?”

“Um, Shey, you’re the reason Mama’s in a bad mood.   You’re probably better off staying at the house.”

“Gotcha.”   My lips twist in a rueful smile.   My mother and I have a funny relationship.   Given that I’m the only daughter and the baby of the family, you’d think we would have been close.   Only it didn’t work out that way.   Mama prefers boys.   But I can’t complain.   I certainly wasn’t neglected growing up.   I had three brothers to chase after and always was the apple of my Daddy’s eye.   “We’ll see you later, then, and don’t rush your meal.   We’ll be here when you return.”

(Used by permission.)

 

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