No Apparent Distress: A Doctors Coming of Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine by Rachel PearsonIn medical charts, the term “N.A.D.” (No Apparent Distress) is used for patients who appear stable. The phrase also aptly describes America’s medical system when it comes to treating the underprivileged. Medical students learn on the bodies of the poor—and the poor suffer from their mistakes.
Rachel Pearson confronted these harsh realities when she started medical school in Galveston, Texas. Pearson, herself from a working-class background, remains haunted by the suicide of a close friend, experiences firsthand the heartbreak of her own errors in a patient’s care, and witnesses the ruinous effects of a hurricane on a Texas town’s medical system. In a free clinic where the motto is “All Are Welcome Here,” she learns how to practice medicine with love and tenacity amidst the raging injustices of a system that favors the rich and the white. No Apparent Distress is at once an indictment of American health care and a deeply moving tale of one doctor’s coming-of-age.
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Was there a time before memoirs of medical training became a popular genre of nonfiction? Its lurid description of life in a teaching hospital forced the author to remain anonymous, but the book was eagerly consumed by the public, whose appetite for these stories has grown and multiplied over the ensuing decades.
No Apparent Distress: A Doctor's Coming of Age on the Front Lines of American Medicine
Thank you! A sensitive doctor describes her beginnings navigating the unpredictable, woolly world of modern American health care. Intensive medical school classes on Galveston Island led to hospital and family medicine rotations, and all of the experiences exposed the author to the trauma and heartbreak of pain, cancer, and disease and the frustrations of age and death—but also the sincere appreciation from those she was fortunate enough to assist in creating wellness. Eloquently and briskly written, the narrative is moving and will be inspirational and particularly enlightening for pre-med students eager to discover and explore the real insider details found both in and out of school. The author offers a helpful, pragmatic perspective on how the American health care system operates, how and who it helps, and what it has become hobbled by, though, disappointingly, only a few closing pages are devoted to these thoughts. There was a problem adding your email address. Please try again.
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