Review - Confessions of a Surgeon by Paul Ruggieri

Title: Confessions of a Surgeon
The Good, The Bad and the Complicated
Life Behind the O.R. Doors
Author: Paul A. Ruggieri
Publisher: Penguin Group
Publish Date: Jan 3, 2012
Paperback, 272 pages

Barnes and Noble

I absolutely love books that detail another part of life I wish I had time to experience. I have always dreamed of being a doctor. Who doesn't want to learn how to save people? Who doesn't want to live on the edge and experience anything and everything that can happen? Can you imagine holding someone's heart in your own hands? The possibilities are amazing.

I really enjoyed this book. Dr Ruggieri gives a very detailed behind the scenes look at being a doctor. Definitely details the good, bad and ugly. I really enjoyed reading about how Ruggieri feels he has no real human emotions when being a surgeon. He cannot feel the loss because the family has more; he cannot feel the stress at complications that arise because he has to fix them immediately; he cannot be mad at another surgeon who fumbles a surgery where he comes to the rescue and then is blamed for the problem. He must be robotic like and just get the job done. Not even close to being as serious as cutting open people, I feel his pain when it comes to working in retail.

I found the insurance and lab result information incredibly fascinating. He talks about how it can take up to a week MINIMUM to receive results back and then the doctor has to find the time in between all his other patients and to do's to read and research the results. With patients who call the day after a test is taken. The fact that a doctor cannot utter the word "cancer" until it is 110% sure. The stress of watching the patient beg for an answer and the doctor who thinks he knows, but cannot say until he has the papers in hand for fear of retribution.

Dr Ruggieri did a fabulous job of telling us how it really is to be in the O.R. room. I really enjoyed how much information he gave and how he told it in the experiences he had. Wonderfully written.

Summary -

As an active surgeon and former department chairman, Dr. Paul A. Ruggieri has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of his profession. In Confessions of a Surgeon, he pushes open the doors of the O.R. and reveals the inscrutable place where lives are improved, saved, and sometimes lost. He shares the successes, failures, remarkable advances, and camaraderie that make it exciting. He uncovers the truth about the abusive, exhaustive training and the arduous devotion of his old-school education. He explores the twenty-four-hour challenges that come from patients and their loved ones; the ethics of saving the lives of repugnant criminals; the hot-button issues of healthcare, lawsuits, and reimbursements; and the true cost of running a private practice. And he explains the influence of the "white coat code of silence" and why patients may never know what really transpires during surgery.

Ultimately, Dr. Ruggieri lays bare an occupation that to most is as mysterious and unfamiliar as it is misunderstood. His account is passionate, illuminating, and often shocking-an eye-opening, never- before-seen look at real life, and death, in the O.R.

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