Committed: Dispatches from a Psychiatrist in Training

Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2021. 320p. ISBN 9780358434733. $26. MEMOIR
Making use of many entries from his own journal, Stern (psychiatrist, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Ctr.; psychiatry, Harvard Medical Sch.) shares his journey through a four-year residency program in psychiatry at Harvard. This book is a fascinating look at the inside of a medical residency, and it offers a glimpse of many of the often-understated personal costs involved. Of special note are Stern’s description of imposter syndrome and his reflections on whether he should become a doctor at all. Readers who have also experienced the vigor of professional academic training will find Stern’s account familiar and satisfying, while those who haven’t will get a rare and insightful glimpse into the many potential struggles involved. Stern’s book is written in a brutally honest, often self-effacing tone. Readers will ultimately emerge feeling triumphant alongside Stern, who over the course of the book finds love and professional success and satisfaction, despite the challenges he faced during residency and the beginning of his medical career.
VERDICT This well-written, engaging book will have a special appeal to those already in academia and will be of interest to those who are considering it. It is essential and recommended for all academic and public libraries.
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