Prognosis Poor: A Review
I was sitting at the Greyhound station last week, waiting for my bus to board so I could go spend a week with my sisters and mother over the Christmas holiday. Dr. D was working a 24 hour in-house call shift Christmas day and wasn't going with me. So far, odd years of our four year residency mean we celebrate Christmas apart. Welcome to year three.
I was really excited to see Frances Southwick's Prognosis Poor: One Doctor's Personal Account of the Beauty and Perils of Modern Medical Training. As she mentions in the Physician Family article that alerted me to the book's existence, there is a section (actually one of the appendices) titled "How Jude and I Stayed Together."
I immediately (thanks to Greyhound's free wifi) purchased and downloaded the slim volume and started reading. South wick's personal reflection is far more handbook than personal journey; she sets out with a lofty goal--to create a new The House of God for the 21st century. While the book does give us a first person account of Southwick's depression and her grueling schedule, don't expect it to read like a novelization of her experience. Here are the strengths of the book which make it one that I will definitely continue to recommend to all entering residency (either as the resident or the significant other):
My wish-list includes more of Jude's voice. While I realize that the book was ultimately about Southwick's experience, I bought it because she indicated that the book was also about her relationship and that entire experience. Sadly, by the end I have no more clear sense of Jude's experience than I did at the start. If a second edition comes out, I'd love to see alternating chapters where Jude responds and shares her experience of each aspect and her reflection of those moments.
4/7/2019 02:54:15 pm
Thank you for your review. I appreciate your thoughts.
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This blog is written from the perspective of an older medical spouse who happens to be childless by choice. I hope that husbands, older spouses, those childless by choice, and others will find this entertaining and occasionally useful.
I am a writer with a day job, a PhD, and wife to an amazing MD who is in residency.