Friday, January 23, 2009
The House of God
I just finished reading this, and I will never think of hospitals or doctors the same again. It was excellent. This is billed as a novel, but really it's a memoir about the training of doctors in the United States. Specifically, it centers around the author's internship year at Beth-Israel Medical Center (the "House of God" referred to in the title) in the early 1970's. It's riveting. It's eye-opening to read about what these people are put through in the name of medicine and the "delivery of medical care." At times it's really pretty depressing, but that takes nothing away from the quality of the writing, which is excellent, or from the story, which is both compelling and shocking. Half way through, as the narrator is starting to become a machine during his MICU rotation, I found myself not seeing what was so bad or wrong with his behavior - I was sympathetic. This book really got to me. I highly recommend it.