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Book and Media Reviews |


S. Ryan Gregory, MD, MA, Reviewer
JAMA. 2008;300(10):1212-1213. doi:10.1001/jama.300.10.1212.
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More than 40 years ago, a brave young physician challenged the “enforced secrecy” of medical training by publishing a firsthand account of his internship. Under the pseudonym “Dr X,” he titled his account simply Intern.1 The book was wildly successful but, perhaps more importantly, it opened the door for future authors to share their insights about their medical training and education.

In the subsequent decades, a half-dozen different narrative books on internship were published.26 Today, there are nearly 40 firsthand accounts of the medical sojourn from medical school to residency in nearly every major specialty—enough to define the small but important genre of physician-training narratives.7 Several classic themes can be found in each of these narratives: critical candor of the training process, personal growth, and the change in perspective regarding the practice and profession of medicine, accompanied by the intimate accounts of patient encounters and patient-physician relationships.


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