Sunday, January 30, 2011

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Ian McEwan's Saturday: a day in the life of a neurosurgeon

SaturdayIt's a Saturday morning, and although I have a big exam next week—I always do—I find myself lost to reading re-reading an Ian McEwan masterpiece entitled, quite appropriately, Saturday. It's novel about a day in the life of Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon. I had read the book before I entered Medicine, and I loved it, as with all McEwan's works. To me, this book is special because it paints an intriguing portrait of the life that would possibly resemble mine in the near future—not necessarily of a neurosurgeon but of a physician. 

At the time, I didn't exactly get the technical jargon, especially in the first chapter where McEwan was describing surgical procedures with the terms, "middle cerebral artery aneurysm", "meningioma", "glioma," and so much more. And isn't that always the case with all newly-entered disciplines? I often wondered if I would ever get what those words meant and how they'd all fit in my head. But two years into medical school, I think I'm beginning to grasp the hospital lingo, albeit vaguely. Like they say, you just get better with time. And, in my case, I hope it's not just the vocabulary.

Today, as I leaf through the pages, I have a better sense of understanding not just of those terms but, in a way, of what Henry Perowne is going through. Well, not exactly: Henry has a wife and children, owns a car, does surgeries, finishes a whole lot of paperwork on a Friday night, a task that drains him more than the opening of a skull. But: Henry has been to medical school, is constantly at the hospital, seeing patients, and making sense of what they're going through.

As with all vocations, medicine is a shared experience, best understood by people who've been through the same routines, pains, and joys. No wonder why Saturday makes much more sense at the second helping—and, Lord-willing, if the time comes, possibly even at the third.

5 comments:

  1. wow, nice set of books lance. =) looking forward to a future neurosurg? =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks, Rog. Neurosurgery? At this point, I still have no idea.

    ReplyDelete
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    “James Makker”

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