Wednesday, August 31, 2011

In Stitches

In Stitches

By Anthony Youn, M.D.

This memoir of a young Korean man's journey through medical school is clever, witty and fun. In it, Dr. Youn tells the story of how he knew his whole life that he was going to be a doctor - because his dad told him so. But Dr. Youn describes how he made the experience his own, how he really wanted it for himself too. And he describes exactly how and why he chose to specialize in plastic surgery. It begins with his first day of med school, with some childhood flashbacks, and ends when he finishes all of his residency and other training requirements - the moment he realizes "I'm a doctor."

This is a fast read, with fun characters and interesting tidbits about his school, and the med school process. I confess that it would have been less interesting to me had I not read this the week after I took the bar exam. I spent a lot of time comparing the law school process to the med school process. They are both stressful schools, with a lot of pressure, and not very much sleep.

However after reading this book, I have come to one conclusion: I am so glad I chose law school. Not only would the science, blood, and buckets of hands and other body parts scare me away, but becoming a doctor is a hell of a lot harder than becoming a lawyer. There are two years of intense and terrifying classes. A year of interning with different areas of medicine and then after that there are residency requirements and if you want to be a specialist there are even more years of training and practice.

I particularly enjoyed the part of the book where Dr. Youn was describing the different medical practices. I love the idea of this. I think law school should have something like this - maybe not a whole year, but it sure would be nice to actually do some work in an area of law before going out to practice, rather than just get an introduction in a class. For example, I did really well in my Wills and Trusts class and I thought the material was interesting. I imagined meeting all kinds of interesting rich old people who want me to write a will leaving everything to their dog. But would I really like to sit in an office all day going over will provisions and making sure that trustees fulfill their fiduciary obligations? I'm not so sure. It would be nice to take that for a spin.

Anyway, the point is that I really enjoyed this memoir. It's fast, fun, good writing and gives an inside perspective on a world most people don't know anything about.

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