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Download Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Final Exam: A Surgeons Reflections on Mortality (Unabridged), by Pauline W. Chen
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,024 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Pauline W. Chen Narrator: Pauline W. Chen Publisher: Phoenix Books Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A brilliant young transplant surgeon brings moral intensity and narrative drama to the most powerful and vexing questions of medicine and the human condition.

When Pauline Chen began medical school 20 years ago, she dreamed of saving lives. What she did not count on was how much death would be a part of her work. Almost immediately, Chen found herself wrestling with medicine's most profound paradox: that a profession premised on caring for the ill also systematically depersonalizes dying. Final Exam follows Chen over the course of her education, training, and practice as she grapples at strikingly close range with the problem of mortality. She struggles to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate knowledge of shared humanity, and to separate her ideas about healing from her fierce desire to cure.

From her first dissection of a cadaver in gross anatomy class, to the moment she first puts a scalpel to a living person; from the first time she witnesses someone flat-lining in the emergency room, to the first time she pronounces a patient dead, Chen is struck by her own mortal fears. There was a dying friend she could not call, a young patient's tortured death she could not forget, and even the sense of shared kinship with a corpse she could not cast aside when asked to saw its pelvis in two.

Gradually, as she confronts the ways in which her fears have incapacitated her, she begins to reject what she has been taught about suppressing her feelings for her patients, and she begins to carve out a new role for herself as a physician and as human being. Chen's transfixing and beautiful rumination on how doctors negotiate the ineluctable fact of death becomes, in the end, a brilliant questioning of how we should live.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Betsy | 2/19/2014

    " This is memoir/series of essays about a surgeon's development from scared medical student, to a doctor who is reluctant to interact with patients on a meaningful level, to a surgeon who empathsizes, communicates and shares the human experience with her patients. With poignant self-awareness, Pauline Chen shares her own fears, and her internal fight to become a better surgeon. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laurel | 2/13/2014

    " This is a book of such compassion. I loved reading it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jessica | 2/7/2014

    " Author seems to have (in my medical/cardiac ICU nurse mind) an overly high view of surgeons. However, that isn't the point of the book, the book is to reflect on medicine's attitude and treatment - her attitude and treatment - of dying patients, which she does well; most of her stories are compelling and some ring true for me (despite my different background). She did a good job laying out a general structure of the book in the introduction, but I sometimes got lost in how each little story in each chapter fit together. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Lynn | 2/4/2014

    " DNF. First one-third of the book did not contain a single new or striking revelation about the topic of the title. "

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