“Confessions Of A Surgeon”
I haven’t done any kind of review lately, but I couldn’t stop myself from writing one up about Confessions of a Surgeon by Dr. Paul Ruggieri. I usually love books about life as a surgeon (see Hot Lights, Cold Steel by Dr. Michael Collins). However, to be honest, I couldn’t even muster up the patience to finish this work. This is my last summer off. I have no work, no school, and not a whole lot of responsibility. I am going to enjoy every hour of this summer, and I realized about 2/3 of the way through that I was not enjoying reading this book…at all. Rather than waste anymore time, I put the book back on the shelf to be continued perhaps one day.
What bothered me the most about this book was honestly the author. Imagine all the stereotypes you have ever heard about surgeons; that’s Dr. Ruggieri. Rather than trying to explain, I will just give you some of my favorite quotes from Dr. Ruggieri:
“I wasn’t interested in caring for the ‘whole’ person.”
“Jane was not a human being to me…She was the most beautiful liver I had ever seen.”
“When I show up in these crisis situations, the family looks to me to be the savior.”
“That patient left the trauma room dead, in a body bag. I left the trauma room alive, and a hero.”
I am not going to bother to provide context for these quotes. You will have to trust me, it doesn’t make them sound any better. I know that I have quite an ego, and part of the reason I am going into medicine is to feel like a hero, but this guy takes it to a whole nother level. The nurses are referred to as “Nurse” unless they are deemed “attractive” in which he will then provide their name. He doesn’t believe in the 80-hour-a-week cap on residency hours. Sure, some of his stories are fairly interesting but overall the book just wasn’t readable for me.
However it did give me some perspective about the type of doctor I hope to be. I want to be referred to by my first name, I want to work as part of a team, and I never want to completely separate the disease from the person. I hope that this is possible, even if I decide to be a surgeon.