A very good novel by Samuel Shem
. I'd recommend it for any person considering a career in medicine
, though it has a cynical tone.
The premise is simple. Six medical students fresh out of BMS, The Best Medical School (in the world), become interns at a hospital, the House of God.
Slowly each and every person begins to descend into life in hell. The tedium of patients screaming incoherently at them, the stench of the ward, the demoralization of cleaning up the patient's mess every day just breaks them down. They're all newbies, and afraid to mess anything up.
The only person there is The Fat Man, who is the complete mentor to everyone there. He shows them the real way to save the patients, as opposed to the administrators who literally drone on and on. He teaches them the Laws of the House of God, how to turf a patient, and what a Gomer is.
Most Doctors I know have read this book, and say that it's almost never like this, but there are just some really bad days at work. The author, an M.D., is a pretty cynical guy and pretty much hates the career he took; he calls it being trapped, as you just went through medical school.
It's funny, raunchy, and it's sort of like the TV show "Scrubs" on NBC in the States, only Scrubs was cleaner and funnier.
I'd reccomend it, but don't take it too seriously, the author was a true cynic. It only discusses the first year internship, before you choose a specialty.
The sequel is Mount Misery, where the main character goes into residency at a psychiatric hospital.