Thu Nov 29, 2012, 09:15 AM
xchrom (97,814 posts)
Samuel Shem, 34 Years After 'The House of God'
For better or worse, except in real danger, I don't seem to run on fear. Guilt, yes; fear, no.
It's a good thing, because my book The House of God enraged many among the older generation of doctors. I was maligned and disliked. The book was censored by medical school deans, who often kept me from speaking at their schools. None of it really bothered me, though. I was secure in the understanding that all I had done was tell the truth about medical training.
I took this pseudonym because I was just starting my psychiatric practice and wanted to protect my patients from knowing that their therapist had written such an irreverent novel. (They all found out, and didn't care -- but "Shem" had arrived, and refused to depart.) I also felt that real writers had no place in going out and publicizing their novels. I refused all invitations. And then one day I got a letter forwarded from my publisher, which included the line:
"I'm on call in a V.A. Hospital in Tulsa, and if weren't for your book I'd kill myself."
I realized that I could be helpful to doctors who were going through the brutality of training. And so I began what has turned out to be a 35-year odyssey of speaking out, around the world, about resisting the inhumanity of medical training. The title of my talk is almost always the same: "Staying Human in Health Care."
La Lioness said I'm Princess Spice. So there.
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Response to xchrom (Original post)
Thu Nov 29, 2012, 04:43 PM
Warpy (73,315 posts)
2. The book is also beloved by nurses
especially those of us who are familiar with the hospital he wrote about in Boston.
Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all. - John Maynard Keynes