Tuesday, February 4, 2014

G268 Past Medical History; Recollections of a Medical Miscreant

Title: Past Medical History; Recollections of a Medical Miscreant

Author: Donald B. Stewart, M.D.

First copyright date: 2013

Type of book: Medical system, medical education, post 1960s? artist vs. doctor, drudgery, criticizing medical system, intense life, humor

General subject matter: Going to medical school, studying and becoming a doctor, trying to be an artist, autobiography

Special features: N/A

Price: $15.00

ISBN/ASIN: 978-0-9773294-2-7

Author Purpose:

"Perhaps Past Medical History is not so much a story of a doctor who lost his way, as it is the tale of an artist who stayed in the hospital just long enough to get over his distractions." (Towards end in Preface)

a. Why did the author write on this subject rather than on some other subject?

I would imagine that his situation goes against common sense and the grain: non-doctors and non-nurses rarely see or understand the work and dedication as well as devotion it takes to become a doctor. I would guess he was trying to explain why and how he turned away from a society approved career to a career that's uncertain but seems much more saner.

b. From what point of view is the work written?

The point of view is first person narrative. A lot of the stories were funny in my opinion, although I wish I could understand and appreciate a lot more. One of my favorite stories is titled Suicide Notes.

c. Was the author trying to give information, to explain something technical, to convince the reader of a belief’s validity by dramatizing it in action?

I think the author was trying to give information as well as explain why he decided to stray from the medical profession. He explained the difficulties he underwent through when going through medical school as well as being in residence and so forth. I took a class years back where a teacher explained what medical students undergo through when trying to become doctors, but his book cleared up a lot more than what I expected. I feel like if I should end up going to a doctor, I should personally thank them for doing these jobs.

d. What is the general field or genre, and how does the book fit into it? (Use outside sources to familiarize yourself with the field, if necessary.) Knowledge of the genre means understanding the art form. and how it functions.

I think the general field or genre would be Medical school as well as autobiography and humor. Its odd that the author doesn't bother in describing what happened to him after he left the medical profession.

e. Who is the intended audience?

I would guess the general audience would be those who hope to become doctors, or who dream of being doctors as well as patients perhaps because in a way I think he might be trying to raise awareness about what goes on in medical schools as well as hospitals.

f. What is the author's style? Is it formal or informal? Evaluate the quality of the writing style by using some of the following standards: coherence, clarity, originality, forcefulness, correct use of technical words, conciseness, fullness of development, fluidity. Does it suit the intended audience?

I think a lot of his writing is informal, although he does fill the book with medical jargon that's not very familiar to me and which sort of alienated me from the comedy and humor, which is why I think medical students will understand what he's telling.

g. Scan the Table of Contents, it can help understand how the book is organized and will aid in determining the author's main ideas and how they are developed - chronologically, topically, etc.

The book is divided into 7 sections and all chapters are short stories, one or two pages at the most that detail his experiences, thoughts and actions. The parts are filled in with some drawings he did which I like.

g. How did the book affect you? Were any previous ideas you had on the subject changed, abandoned, or reinforced due to this book? How is the book related to your own course or personal agenda? What personal experiences you've had relate to the subject?

If I should go to a doctor and whatnot, I personally feel that I should thank them for doing this job.

h. How well has the book achieved its goal?

I think the book has done a good job of achieving its goal; I can imagine that a lot of people working in the medical profession will start questioning or else maybe some might do something about the issues he talks a great deal about.

i. Would you recommend this book or article to others? Why?

On one hand I would because its something that needs to be known about, but on the other hand this might be foreign for those who aren't familiar with the system and its failings. While he presents the issues plaguing the community, what are the solutions and what to do?

a. Theme: The theme is the subject or topic. It is not necessarily the title, and it is usually not expressed in a complete sentence. It expresses a specific phase of the general subject matter.

Things are not what they seem.

b. Thesis: The thesis is an author’s generalization about the theme, the author’s beliefs about something important, the book’s philosophical conclusion, or the proposition the author means to prove. Express it without metaphor or other figurative language, in one declarative sentence.

Doctors are humans too

This is for Pump Up Your Books Tour

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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