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The Night Shift Paperback – Sep 2 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers (Sept. 2 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1554683920
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554683925
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

BRIAN GOLDMAN is an emergency physician at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital and the host of CBC Radio's award-winning program White Coat, Black Art. His inspiring yet bracingly honest TEDx talk about medical errors—which has been viewed on the Internet almost one million times—has cemented his reputation as one of his generation's keenest observers of the culture of modern medicine. The author of the acclaimed book The Night Shift, Dr. Goldman lives in Toronto with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Hidden somewhere in the book's introduction is the sobering sentence, "Sooner or later most of you are going to need the services of someone like me." For me, that statement has been verified more than once. And so, I'm grateful to Dr. Goldman for sharing in such a clear and engaging format what it's like "on his side of the gurney".

The E.R. experience is tense enough without the exaggeration we witness in TV dramas. Even though the night shift depicted in the book is really an elaborate composite, I would think it's a good a sample as any. Being recounted in the first person, as opposed to the common alternative (reporting/journalism style) lends it a much deeper, humane aspect.

I particularly like the balanced and highly empathetic view Dr. Goldman takes in his book. He doesn't pander to gore and unlikely theatrics, and uses few literary mechanisms such as "little did I know". Humour and seriousness are well blended. He balances empathy and respect with reasoning and calculated choices. The story is easy to follow and it gets into medical details only to the extent they are needed to explain situations. And in more than one place the story surprisingly digs into Dr. Goldman's own personal history and sometimes painful experiences, which heighten my appreciation for his truly demanding work.

I would recommend this book to anyone who has ever been or might be an E.R. patient. And if you have been a regular listener of his "White Coat, Black Art" show on CBC, let me assure you this book does not duplicate what you heard there. You might recognize a few details or a couple of stories, but this book is something else!
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Format: Paperback
I have read a great deal of medical nonfiction and find accounts of life in the ER to be of particular interest. It's difficult to find such books written by Canadian authors, so I was excited to hear Dr. Goldman's perspective on our health care system. I found it to be an absorbing read, and well-written aside from a few typos. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone who's a fan of this genre.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Probably one of the most interesting non fiction book to read about the lives of doctors and the constant battle they go through in the field of medicine. The thing that separates this book from others is the way it is written. Goldman is clearly a fantastic story teller who is able to keep you captivated as he gives detailed accounts of stories in the ER. The entire book is a sequential journal of one shift on the ER. Goldman introduces a patient story from that shift and then delves into the principles, moral issues, values, etc. of practicing medicine. Finally at the end of each entry corresponding to the time during the shift or the chapter, he refers back to the original patient story and drives home his valuable message.

I found at times that Goldman comes off conceited; however, he is not shy to admit the times when he was wrong or had made a mistake. I couldn't put the book down as Goldman again is very adept at telling stories of a true experience of an ER physician here in Canada
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Format: Hardcover
Story Description:

HarperCollins|September 3, 2010|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-1-55468-391-8

Dr. Brian Goldman is both an emergency room physician at Mount Sinai and a prominent medical journalist. Never one to shy away from controversy, Goldman specializes in kicking open the doors to the medical establishment revealing what really goes on behind the scenes - and in the minds of doctors and nurses.

In The Night Shift, Goldman shares his experiences in the witching hours at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto. We meet the kinds of patients who walk into an ER after midnight: late night revellers injured on their way home after last call, teens assaulted in the streets by other teens and a woman who punches another woman out of jealousy over a man. But Goldman also reveals the emotional, heartbreaking side of everyday ER visits: adult children forced to make life and death decisions about critically ill parents, victims of sexual assault, and mentally ill and homeless patients looking for understanding and a quick fix in the twenty-four hour waiting room. Written with Goldman's trademark honesty and with surprising humour, The Night Shift is also a frank look at many issues facing the medical profession today, and offers a highly compelling inside view into an often shrouded world.

My Review:

This was an absolutely phenomenal book! Dr. Goldman blows the lid off what really goes on inside the Emergency Room for those inquiring minds who want to know. Goldman is frank, honest and doesn't mince words about both the good and bad sides of his profession.

The decisions, quick thinking and the speed at which these doctors and nurses often have to work is staggering.
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Format: Hardcover
I did not have high hopes for this book before I opened it although I had already formed an extremely favourable opinion of Dr Brian Goldman through his radio and television journalism in Canada. I thought that The Night Shift would be just another diverting memoir linking anecdote to incident to event with the odd comic patient thrown in for relief.

Instead I discovered an open and honest account of life as an ER doctor told with much insight.

Dr Goldman doesn't just describe some amusing, interesting, or horrific incident and then move on to the next; he brings up a central message in what has happened and explores its meanings and ramifications. And it is done with a clear and self deprecating tone through solid writing.

A couple of examples. When describing his medical mistakes due to sleep deprivation at one point he goes beyond just the event to bring in the thoughts and findings of others concerned with the issue. He then expands on what chronic sleeplessness means in other areas of society and from it draws well considered conclusions, all nicely framed within what would have been just a glib tale.

He does the same thing for pain management. After describing how he dealt with an emergency patient who falsely claimed to have lost a prescription for a narcotic and wanted a refill, he then talks with experts in the field of pain management, gets into the politics of pain, its relationship with drug companies, and the moral questions behind either providing that patient with medication or refusing it.

It is an excellent book. I cannot speak for Dr Goldman's expertise as a doctor, although I wouldn't hesitate for a second to consult him if I needed it, but I have spent more than 30 years as a broadcast journalist and I rate him as one hell of a journalist just on the strength of this book.

Seek out his weekly radio show White Coat Black Art on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation website.
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