Friday, May 24, 2013

Monday Mornings - Dr. Sanjay Gupta, M.D.


Summary:  Every time surgeons operate, they're betting their skills are better than the brain tumor, the faulty heart valve, the fractured femur. Sometimes, they're wrong. At Chelsea General, surgeons answer for bad outcomes at the Morbidity and Mortality conference, known as M & M. This extraordinary peek behind the curtain into what is considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine is the back drop for the entire book.

Monday Mornings, by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, follows the lives of five surgeons at Chelsea General as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings, often in front of their peers at M & M. It is on Monday mornings that reflection and introspection occurs, usually in private. It is Monday Mornings that provides a unique look at the real method in which surgeons learn - through their mistakes. It is Monday Mornings when, if you're lucky, you have a chance at redemption.  (Summary and image from goodreads.com)

My Review:  Wow.  Ha!  You may recall that I posted a sentence (His back was as straight as a dead man's EKG?  I know!!) on our FB page with the question:  Do I quit?  I didn’t quit.  (I probably should have quit.)  Let’s just get the mean part out of the way.  Dr. Gupta may be an amazing doctor who really knows his stuff, but he can’t write worth beans.  The narrative was all over the place, the amount of descriptions he packed into each sentence was reminiscent of reading my own short stories circa seventh grade (back when I was under the misguided impression that the more detail an author packed in, the better the story), and apparently, a requirement of understanding about a third of this book is the completion of two years of surgical residency. 

But I persevered.  I heard Dr. Gupta talk about the book on a morning show, about how doctors are held accountable when things go wrong and how this book offers a peek into those meetings.  I figured if I could stomach my way past the ugly façade, the bones of the book would make up for it.  I find medical proceedings fascinating, and hearing him talk about these meetings with such reverence piqued my curiosity.

To my dismay, those meetings were only briefly mentioned, and even then, the writing felt harried and disorganized.  It was supremely disappointing—somewhat akin to tuning into a documentary on a fascinating civilization and finding a Telenovela in its place.  I’ve learned my lesson.  If I want good medical advice, I’ll go to Sanjay Gupta.  For good reads, I’ll go…anywhere else.

My Rating:  Half a star

For the Sensitive Reader:  Multiple swear words, domestic violence, lechery, adultery, drinking, a few racial slurs … steer clear.  You’re not missing anything.

3 comments:

Kristin said...

OUCH! I will admit that although I will never read the books, I LOVE the show.
Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

Marsh Mayhem said...

I hate giving poor reviews! But this one - just wow.

foundbetweenthecovers said...

Always appreciate your honesty in reviews. I know how hard it is to give a bad review, but some books just beg for it.

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