DETAILS: The House of Hope and Fear:Life in a Big City Hospital, by Audrey Young, M.D. Copyright 2009. Medical non-fiction.
SUMMERY: Dr. Young was an attending physician at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. The book recounts her struggles and challenges at the largest public hospital in a four-state area. She shares stories of specific patients, especially the "undesirable" patients: those that are homeless, drunk or drug-addicted, that come through Harborview's doors. She presents the business side of the medical field; the challenge of balancing the budget, of under staffing and overcrowding.
PROS: Dr. Young's narrative style is engaging and easy to read. She does a good job of presenting the struggle to balance cost and quality of care and the human side to the medical field. Her book is informative and well-rounded. For me, as a pre-nursing student and a Harborview volunteer, I found the details of patient care fascinating.
CONS: This is clearly intended to be a persuasive piece about health-care reform. Not that this is necessarily negative, but the book is not purely objective. I wished there were more details of patient care and less about the business side of the hospital, but this is purely my opinion. If I were not interested in the medical field, I probably would have found some of the details a little dry, but with my background, I did enjoy them.
BOTTOM LINE: Despite any blurbs that might suggest otherwise, this is not Grey's Anatomy. I would recommend this book for anyone interested in the medical field, however, some other people might not find it as interesting. Three stars out of five.