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The House of God Paperback – Sep 7 2010


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group; Reissue edition (Sept. 7 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425238091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425238097
  • Product Dimensions: 20.7 x 14.1 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 318 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #9,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Ashe TOP 500 REVIEWER on Oct. 16 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am on my fourth copy of this book. The others eventually disintegrated. I first read it while training in Toronto in 1980. It was spot on. Despite some other MDs' comments below, sex did happen at (very) odd times and in very odd places. Still does in my hospital. In those days, we fought and striked (?) for a limit of no more than four nights per week and alternate weekends of in hospital call. Totally exhausted and sleep deprived, we availed ourselves of black humor, practical jokes, alcohol, and sex. We did find, and sometimes married, nubile nurses and sociable cervixes. We did shine up our patients' histories and transfer them to other wards (buff 'n' turf), and we probably did mismanage patients at night. I still, after 22 years as a staff physician, find the book funny, sad, and relevant. My eldest read it at least three times, and then went into medicine anyway.
Yes, the medicine is dated, and the book is written at a frenetic pace. But it still rates 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By destiny morna on Dec 13 2003
Format: Paperback
In this age of reality TV, many will be fascinated, repelled, disturbed and intrigued about this look in the life of a resident intern at a large teaching hospital. For those in the know, it is a sarcastic yet honest glimpse of the perils of an intern.
House of God focuses on Dr. Roy Basch- a new intern who is working at a large teaching institution. Like all interns, he is thrown in with the instruction to "keep the patient alive." He battles grueling schedules, hopeless patients, attendings and disease. He learns from the chief, interns and residents--and even the patients "gomers".
For those who are unfamiliar with medical training this book would be very disturbing, but for those of us who know what residents go through...it is surprisingly real. I first read this book as an M4- just about to start July 1st internship. As an M4 you are cocky, arrogant and optimistic and this book was funny, sacriligous even. I read it again after finishing residency and was struck by how honest it was to the residency experience..sometimes painfully so.
I liked the book when i first read it, but i can appreciate it more now...It is surprising that the author was able to capture the feelings of interns and be brave enough to put it into book form.
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Format: Paperback
A very realistic portrayal of the time of an intern going through the period of residency. Samuel Shem did a good job with the narrative in "The House of God", vividly portraying the difficulties a young fellow aspiring to become a trained doctor goes through every day in the hospital. The book was recommended to me along with Janvier Chando's "The Grandmothers" and Sanjay Gupta's "Monday Morning". Very entertaining and educative.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I started this book while doing clerkship in med school and just finished it after a few trials many years later. I guess the dark humor wasn't for me at first but after a few years practicing, it's good to go back to basics! The patient is the one with the disease... And something about a 14G needle!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By drruss on May 17 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book when I was a medical resident at a Southern BMS (Best Medical School), and I was convinced that the author ("Dr. X" at the time) was a colleague! His language, descriptions of patients, anecdotes, and staff portrayals were too similar not to have come directly from the wards and clinics where I worked. And, I was horrified to see, from another vantage point, what I and my fellow residents were becoming. When I re-read the book decades later, I was grateful that a great many things have changed in our approaches to training new physicians.
There are two primary aspects of interest in this book: first, it is an uproariously funny book to anyone who trained in an urban medical center in the 1960-1970 era (others will miss 90% of the "in-group" humor), and, second, it is a devastating indictment of the way that physicians were trained at medical centers in the middle of the 20th century.
It is a good read, but now of most interest to 50+ year-old physicians and nurses.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 4 2004
Format: Paperback
Per John Koski of the 'Books' column in the Daily Mail April 2004, when asked "Have any books changed your life?", the comedian Harry Hill replied, "'The House of God' By Samuel Shem, a novel about a junior doctor in America which takes the lid off the idea of medicine being a vocation. I read it when I was a junior doctor and it made me give up my job."
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By oceanus on Jan. 16 2011
Format: Paperback
Story about interns at an American Hospital. Takes the basis of life as an intern and perhaps paints it with widely exaggerated colors. Only about 80% done, but so far the story has been a good read. The characters express views modern interns would never admit to having, but probably have had in some dark recess of their minds at some point in time.
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Format: Paperback
This is a very uneven book. My internship was many years ago but it's hard to believe it's changed that much. Doctors and nurses having sex in the hospital, often in a very exposed place? I never saw that and think most of the interns were far more interested in getting some sleep rather than sex. It's unbelievably tough, and it's really hard because you know know that your mistakes might kill people, not just result in a bad grade on a test. You begin to feel the weight of responsibility that you will carry around with you likes chains for the rest of your proffesional life. This is a book meant to be a sensationalized book that will sell well, not one that attempts to portray what an interns life is like at a big teaching hospital . My intership was in a good public hospital, and the surpervision and help from a large base of visiting doctors was excellent. And we didn't spend time trying to transfer patiets off of our sevice
It is well written in a sort of hurried way,so if you read it you may have a good time, but you won't come away knowing much about interns.
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