This is a hauntingly moving memoir of the relationship between a cadaver named Eve and the first-year medical student who cuts her open. Christine Montross brings an uncommon perspective to the emotional difficulty of the first year of medical school, and her disturbing, often entertaining anecdotes enrich this exquisitely crafted memoir, endowing an eerie beauty to the world of a doctor-in-training.
Medical professionals will find much to comfort, but also to challenge, themselves in these pages. The book is of even more value to patients. I will no longer complain so readily about a doctor who seems uncaring. Montross makes us aware of the profound and unavoidable dilemma at the core of doctoring: physicians must place themselves at the midpoint between excessive emotional involvement with patients and a complete lack of empathy. Montross describes her struggles to tread this shifting, fragile ground. During a conversation about whether to suspend the treatment of a dying cancer patient, the man s daughter says to her, If this were your father, what would you do?