Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: In Stitches by Anthony Youn, M.D.

Tony was raised to be a doctor. His parents would except nothing less. Growing up as one of two Asian-American kids in a small town wasn't easy. Neither was medical school. In Stitches is a lighthearted memoir about Tony's progression from awkward child to confident doctor. 

The first of five parts covers Youn's premed years: birth-college. He recounts many failed attempts at gaining a girlfriend. The rejections begin piling up. Like most kids, he struggles with his looks and as his jaw juts out it sabotages his lustful ambitions. The text focuses on his attempts to score and until he finds a steady girlfriend the story is more about chasing skirts than becoming a doctor. About a third of the way through, once Youn finds said girl, the text focused much more on his medical school days which was what kept my attention. For all the emphasis on finding a girlfriend I would have liked a bit more about their relationship. We really don't know anything about her.

Things get dicey and interesting in part 4, "Third Year," where Youn recounts the "highlights" of clinical rotations. He encounters interns from hell, detached cool-as-a-cucumber doctors, horrible trauma and quirky surgeons. Tony is drawn to plastic surgery and ends his last year in school working with plastic surgeons around the country. 

Youn tells the story as one looking back, who's breathed a sigh of relief that those grueling years of med school are behind him. One can only imagine what a current medical student might write -- a whoa-is-me type of journal. But Youn's memoir is light and funny. This text counts towards to the POC Reading Challenge!

Publisher: Gallery Books, 2011     Pages: 271     Written with Alan Eisenstock
Rating: 3.5 Stars     Source: Won from Crazy-for-Books. Thanks, Jen!

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