Learning How the Heart Beats: The Making of a Pediatrician In language as direct and unadorned as medical progress notes, Dr. Claire McCarthy's collection of autobiographical sketches, Learning How the Heart Beats: The Making of… Learning How the Heart Beats: The Making of a Pediatrician In language as direct and unadorned as medical progress notes, Dr. Claire McCarthy's collection of autobiographical sketches, Learning How the Heart Beats: The Making of… Self-Help and Psychology
Book Review

Learning How the Heart Beats: The Making of a Pediatrician

EW's GRADE
A

Details Writer: Claire Mccarthy; Genre: Self-Help and Psychology

In language as direct and unadorned as medical progress notes, Dr. Claire McCarthy's collection of autobiographical sketches, Learning How the Heart Beats: The Making of a Pediatrician, leads you vividly through a doctor's training. From her first laboratory cadaver (and McCarthy's awed astonishment when she first cuts into its hands), through a series of unforgettable challenges (successful and failed) in treating her first patients, to her ultimate recognition that the ethical and emotional components of medicine are not as simple as they seem, McCarthy learns that those who sustain life are constantly amazed by how little they really know and how much they'll never control. McCarthy's anecdotes are not for the squeamish or easily depressed: You'll wonder how doctors survive, and you'll wince, cry, and come to an unwelcome but strangely comforting perspective on your own fragile mortality. A

Originally posted Jan 27, 1995 Published in issue #259 Jan 27, 1995 Order article reprints