More on the trail of Reading the Doctor's Writing and
I'm not sure how wise it was to finish my read of Dr Vincent Lam's Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures a couple of weeks ago and the very week that we had a household flu pandemic of our very own.
There's a gripping and realistic story about the SARS virus in here that made me want to find a mask and start wearing it around the surgery right now.
I say Dr Lam intentionally though he doesn't use his title on the book cover but you'd know anyway.This is a writer with a vast amount of insider info and a true working knowledge of the emergency scenario so no surprise to know he is an emergency physician
This series of interwoven short stories won the Giller Prize in Canada last year and they have made for a great read over the last few weeks.
Vincent Lam relates the lives of a group of young Canadian doctors from pre-medical school right through to fully qualified medical practitioners and the blurb captures the mood well
"a sometimes shockingly realistic and matter of fact portrayal of today's medical profession."
None of this will be shocking to devotees of ER, Casualty or Holby City I'm sure, though the story about the woman having the emergency Caesarian section without anaesthetic may just make you feel slightly queasy and uncomfortable.
Not least for how involved you get.
The narrative pace of this story is terrifyingly good and I was sufficiently caught up in it to be inwardly screaming "just get on and do it, forget the anaesthetic, she'll manage". I could have been there (preferably not on the operating table) it was so realistic.
I was almost walking bent double afterwards and my horror at my own reaction to the emergency stayed with me for days.
All the dilemmas, the oddball patients, the even odder-ball scenarios that most people would be hard pushed to believe, the exhaustion, the emotional turmoil all captured perfectly in this book.Weaving through the book a thread of sadness at just how illness affects people's lives and how helpless doctors can often be when so much is expected of them.The stress on the doctors is palpable.
Vincent Lam has somehow made all this sound like the stuff of everyday life and in fact it is, so no surprise again to see that the book has been snapped up for a TV drama series and the book hopefully for publication here in the UK later in the year.