Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Final Exam - A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

Final Exam - A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality

Article excerpt

Final Exam - A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality By Pauline Chen. Published by Souvenir Press, London, 2007. Paperback 268pp. Price £15.00. ISBN 978-0-28563-811-2.

This is a personal account of a doctor's views and experiences of death and dying from her medical school days until the end of her specialist training as a transplant surgeon. The account is roughly chronological and is divided into sections and chapters, but despite all the attempts at organization ends up as a rather freewheeling and unstructured treatise, full of little stories and stories within stories. I particularly empathized with her account of anatomy dissection as a medical student. I was amazed at how similar her experience was to mine, although mine was 10-15 years earlier and the panoramic view out of the dissection room window was of the silvery Tay and not Lake Michigan. Alas the modern UK medical student is no longer allowed the privilege of full human dissection and has to make do with plastic models and computergenerated 3D reconstructions. …

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