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The White Coat Diaries

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Norah Kapadia is facing a lot in her personal and professional life. It’s never easy to be the perfect Indian daughter while pursuing a career in medicine. Norah is trying her best in navigating her professional life while balancing time with her family. But she is really not doing a good job. She is kinda struggling in both that something gotta give. In reality, she needs to grow up a bit. Stop being naive about things. Don’t be serious about that guy, it’s a waste of your time. She is going to realize this later on. But things always come back.Norah spent a lot of the time living up to people standards but not her own. It’s time for her to realize what she wants overall. And that won’t happen until the end, which is kinda of a bummer but expected.I wish the author spent more time in Norah re-discovering herself than her making poor decisions. I would have liked to read about her to discover who she really is.
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Norah was a likeable, if flawed, character who grows throughout the story.  The book was a quick read that kept the pages turning.  The plot was somewhat contrived and predictable, but overall I enjoyed this book.
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Oh, man. I have so many mixed feelings about this book. The comp - Grey's Anatomy X Scrubs - was a huge draw, as I'm a longtime fan of medical dramas (and likewise, fiction), and heaven knows I could use some humor right now.

The author does a great job of swinging from serious topics to a more lighthearted tone. I liked the premise (albeit, a stereotypical one) - medical intern under tremendous pressure from her family to be successful - and get married. She's torn between the demands of her work and the needs of her recently widowed mother who needs support = more than her expecting sister-in-law and brother can provide. She also does a great job at portraying the pressures that residents endure (without going all hot in the break room like Grey's does). In fact, I didn't really see this as a romance. To me, it's women's lit, as our MC Norah is juggling cultural, personal, and professional expectations, and doing it all quite badly, to be honest.

Norah makes some mistakes, loses confidence and begins to second-guess herself. The bigger problem is that Norah isn't always all that likeable, and neither are her fellow residents. Her relationship with her friends is rocky, The first half of the book moves slowly, and the medical dilemma mentioned in the synopsis doesn't actually happen until the last part of the book. The issues she has with her family at the beginning kind of fade out in the middle and return at the end. The resolution isn't at all what I was expecting (not in a good way) - it felt sudden and left a lot of loose ends.

The author did keep me reading, and it was engaging at times, but the ending was really disappointing. I'm giving this three-and-a-half stars.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an eArc of this book for review purposes; all opinions are my own.
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Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book. The writing got off to a rough start but eventually began to flow. The story kept one engaged and led one to care about the characters. A story about medical students, their trials and the ethical issues they face.
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In Madi Sinha's "The White Coat Diaries," twenty-six-year-old Norah Kapadia is a serious-minded physician who was at the top of her class in medical school.  When she begins her internship at Philadelphia General Hospital, she is at the mercy of her supervisors, one of whom uses her as his errand-girl. When he orders her to pick up his dry-cleaning, she is taken aback but too timid to refuse.  

Norah is soon in over her head. She lacks the support system that she needs, and when she asks nurses or other doctors for help, they often brush her off.  When she makes mistakes (early on, she sticks herself with a needle after administering an injection to a patient), our heroine begins to doubt that she is cut out for this field.  Other challenges ensue, and Nora realizes that she will need to be more resilient, assertive, and hardened if she is to succeed in her chosen profession.  

This fast-paced and entertaining book has humorous scenes in which Norah spars with her overbearing mother; spices up her personal life by cozying up to a good-looking resident; and navigates tricky relationships with a high-strung friend and her erratic colleagues.  In addition, Sinha, who is a physician herself, tackles such serious questions as: What should a doctor tell frightened patients and relatives who want straight answers?  Is it ever appropriate to cover up medical errors?  Should administrators allow interns to work such long hours that they become sleep-deprived and disoriented? Finally, is it advisable to burden doctors with responsibilities that they are too inexperienced to handle?  "The White Coat Diaries" is a wryly amusing and provocative work of fiction in which a naïve, insecure, and socially awkward woman evolves into someone who dares to stand up for what she believes.
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White Coat Diaries is an excellent medical novel, perfect on its own, but also relief from the drought between seasons of Grey's Anatomy and New Amsterdam.  Norah Kapadia is finally finished medical school and internships.  She's found her ideal medical residency but it doesn't stay ideal for long.  Cranky patients, long hours, and balancing her duties at the "perfect Indian daughter" are taking the shine from her dream job.  When she meets chief resident, Ethan Cantor, Their attraction to each other grows, Norah becomes more confident and comfortable in her job, and things are looking up.  Of course they don't stay that way for long.  A horrible mistake is made and Norah is pulled in to the cover-up.  Now it is up to her to decide if she protects her colleagues or stands up for the patients, putting herself at risk.  Anyone who likes a well-written, dramatic story will enjoy the White Coat Diaries.  I appreciate the opportunity to read the ARC.
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Here's the thing - I have desperately missing all of my medical drama shows that I love so much. I have re-watched and binge-watched and tried to love police procedural dramas just as much, but I just don't. Thank goodness for this book! Grey's Anatomy-esque, The White Coat Diaries gives readers drama and medicine and romance for 300 pages!
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An intern learns the hard way about the realities of practicing medicine in the first year of her residency. When she and another resident find themselves in a moral dilemma, they face the toughest choices of their career. Author and physician Madi Sinha relies on her personal experience in medicine to give readers a novel that is factual but also fizzles out toward the end in her debut The White Coat Diaries.

Intern Norah Kapadia has landed the residency of her dreams at Philadelphia General Hospital. Everyone knows the reputation of PGH in turning out stellar doctors, but now that her intern year has actually started Norah figures out how those doctors got there: by enduring grueling hours and harsh treatment by older residents and faculty. At least she has the other interns. The five of them commiserate over doing the “scut” work—the menial tasks meant for the lowest on the totem pole—and trying to remember what day it is after their long shifts.

Even though her first day nearly ends in someone dying, chief resident Ethan Cantor swoops in and saves the day. He also captivates Norah’s attention, when she has enough of it to spare after doing all of the work an intern is expected to do. As time goes on, Ethan reciprocates Norah’s interest. It’s one of the few saving graces of what’s turning out to be the most challenging experience of her life, both physically and mentally.

Despite the fact that her late father was a renowned physician himself, Norah doesn’t have the wholehearted approval of her family in wanting to follow in his footsteps. Her hypochondriac, shopaholic mother can’t seem to stop buying useless items to satisfy her need for emotional connectivity, and her brother expects her to take time off—in her intern year!—and manage the few actual health issues their mother has.

Norah does her best, but the pressures of work are starting to mount. When she finds herself in a morally questionable situation at work, she goes with her gut in the hopes of making an impression. Some applaud her, some question her, but only Norah understands what she sacrifices to make her own mark on the medical profession.

Author Madi Sinha speaks with boldness and confidence on the experience of the intern year for students entering residency. With her own background as a physician, Sinha has no problem pivoting on the spur of the moment from a serious moment to a lighthearted one and back to a situation where someone might die. The quick changes show what medicine looks like on a daily basis, and the hospital setting is clearly where Sinha feels most comfortable with her characters.

The plot, however, remains problematic at best. Norah resents her family’s strong pull on her and succumbs to her brother’s pressure for a short time. Then that part of the story fades away. When Norah finds herself on the cusp of a major personal development in romance, she explains it with the same intensity as she discusses her patients. Yet that thread, too, remains loose in the wind. A friendship integral to her life unravels, which might make readers question its strength in the first place, and a temporary job comes and goes in the blink of an eye without any serious impression on Norah.

The biggest issue in the book comes in the questionable moral choice Norah makes. Readers will feel some tension building, and when the climax comes to the fore it’s easy to make assumptions on what will happen next. Instead of wading into the deep end with the characters, however, Sinha bypasses the situation altogether, giving Norah an easy out. The result will leave readers questioning her choices for the betterment of the profession she wanted so much, even as they might feel somewhat relieved that she recused herself from doing further harm.

The novel ultimately feels like one where opportunities were missed, both on the cultural front as well as in regards to Norah’s ability to make a significant difference for more than just a handful of people. Readers who enjoy authentic workplace dramas might want to check this out. Otherwise, I recommend they Borrow The White Coat Diaries.
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Big thumbs up for The White Coat Diaries!  I was anticipating a romance read but was pleasantly surprised that it was so much more than that.  Loved the characters, hospital setting, and family conflicts.   Will definitely be purchasing for our fiction collection.
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I really wanted to like this one, but there were just too many problems. The main conflict referenced in the publisher blurb wasn't really introduced until page 260, three quarters of the way through the book. The protagonist was incredibly unlikeable - which isn't a disqualifier for me, but wasn't done in a very self-aware way, and it was hard to root for Norah at any point in the book. Almost every patient was described as an annoyance instead of a human being, and nurses were literally referred to as "the enemy". The only characters given any development, arc, or humanity were doctors, and still none of them were likeable. Interesting concept, very poorly executed.
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Scrubs meets an ethics reckoning.

Nora has big shoes to fill. After her father’s death when she was ten, she dedicated her life to medicine leaving her in a state of arrested development. As a resident at Philadelphia General she is so close to her goals she can almost taste it, that is if she doesn’t screw it all up.

Watching Nora flail through her first year in residency is a little like watching a toddler run into traffic. She is trusted with medical decisions when she doesn’t seem to trust herself. Her naïveté gets her in trouble and I found myself wanting to yell at her and protect her at the same time.

This book is challenging. The author, a doctor, doesn’t hold back and shows the reader the state of healthcare. She shows the doctors, residents, fellows, interns and
Med students as they are: inflated egos, hustling to get ahead, and all too human.

I can’t say much more without ruining the book, so you should read it and then go thank a doctor or a nurse and then vote some people out of Congress so we can revamp the healthcare system.

The pacing was a little off for me in a few places, otherwise it would have been a 5 star read. Definitely recommend even though I know you will feel all the feels about Mora and her decisions as you progress through the story.
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I appreciated the ability of the author to include the very real issues of work life balance and ethics in the novel.

At times this book had me laughing and at other times this book had a much more serious tone. An entertaining read. I liked how the  author provided a glimpse into the future at the
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A compelling story of personal, familial, and cultural expectations. Madi Sinha is a practicing physician, she really brought an authentic feel to the story and yet it was still extremely accessible. This is the story of Nora and her first year of residency at a prestigious hospital in Philadelphia. We watch Nora deal with the stress, the rigor, the sleepless nights, and the politics of her year as the intern. This is definitely not sugarcoated. It is a year of being judged, humiliated, humbled, shamed, and rarely complemented. All I could think while I was reading this is, why would anyone put themselves through this? And then I thought why do we need to put anyone through this? I really don’t understand why a sleep deprived doctor is ever a good idea it just seems like it’s a recipe for mistakes. BUT believe it or not... nobody asked me. On top of all this Nora is also dealing with familial and cultural expectations. Her mom is lonely, needy, and a hypochondriac. She is constantly making Nora feel guilty for her choices. Not to mention mom is constantly badgering Nora to find a man. Nora‘s brother Paul is at his wits end and tired of being the only one responsible for their mom, he wants Nora to share the load. But how can Nora do that when she’s working constantly not to mention she lives hours away.

   Nora was a very likable and sympathetic character. She has spent her whole life working for this. Foregoing any type of romantic or social life to reach her dream of being a doctor. I felt for her and the struggle she had in balancing everything. Her mom‘s actions would frustrate me, but I did understand that her culture is different from my own. I love the part the Indian culture played in the book, especially the food! There is a small dose of romance in this book, but this is by no stretch of the imagination a romance or a romcom. I would classify this as a well done interesting women’s fiction story.

This book in emojis  🧑‍⚕️ 🩺 💉 🩹 🌡 📋 

*** Big thank you to Berkley for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***
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Norah Kapadia has finally graduated from medical school and is starting her intern year in Internal Medicine at Philadelphia General Hospital. In her naivete -- she "just wants to help people" -- Norah is unprepared for the physical, mental, and emotional toll that the year is going to take on her. Even though her father was a respected physician, the head of Pediatrics at UPenn, he died when Norah was ten and she wants to follow in his footsteps. And she fully intends to finish her residency and make her family proud if she can make it though the grueling years to come. So much happens during her intern year and Norah, a shelter girl from a traditional Indian family, is completely unprepared. Between the demands of her family and the stress of her job, Norah can barely hold it all together. Things look up, at first, when she meets Ethan Cantor, her chief resident, and falls under his spell. As always, however, things are not what they seem to be. Norah needs to make some very serious decisions about who she is and what she wants to do. NO SPOILERS.

This is not nearly as trashy as GREY'S ANATOMY, but it's probably relatable to anyone with a hospital or medical background. The nightmare of internship and residency is real -- the long hours and the stress -- and the very strange bonding that occurs, sort of like a battlefield mentality. The author portrays Norah as being more patient-oriented than most of the other medical personnel in the book, and that's the point it seemed, that Norah was different and better than them. A few digs, some not subtle, at pharma, hospital administration, insurance companies, and legal to name a few. I felt that Norah was a bit one-dimensional in her straight arrow approach and yet I liked her much more in the first part of the book than I did after the "two year" mark. This is not meant to be non-fiction, nor is it a real diary, so I think there's a banal moral in all this, but I really didn't end up liking the ending of this novel at all.

I like books about medical things, no doubt because of my background and career, so I wanted to read it. It was an entertaining and easy read though I honestly don't know if all the detail and description is too much for a person who has no real experience or knowledge of medicine or nursing, etc. I'd describe it as a coming of age story more than anything. Norah grew up.

Thank you to NetGalley and Berkley Books for the e-book ARC to read and review.
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3.5

Not sure how I feel about this story.

On one hand, I like to see growth in characters through, and by the end of the story, and Norah Kapadia did evolve. Albeit, for me, it was lukewarm.

On the other hand, for someone who graduated with honors at the top of her med school class, Norah always seemed lukewarm. It would have been nice to see some of the confidence that helped her get the Philadelphia General internship throughout the story.

While doctors “react” to the physical/mental health issues of patients by diagnosis and treatment, reactionary was how Norah lived her life. To her family, her culture, her coworkers. Even her decision to go into medicine was to get closer to and understand her workaholic pediatrician father who died in a car accident when she was young.

But for me, Norah’s biggest faux pas was her reactions to her own assumptions. Norah was not the cause of some of the situations she found herself in, but her reactions made them worse. People around her played roles in her life while she had no active role. Had she been more present, things would have gone differently with Meryl, Ethan, Gabe, and maybe even Stuart.

To be fair, Norah admits to being non-confrontational and a bit of a doormat, and this only leads to her being overruled by family and coworkers and bullied into doing things she doesn’t want to.

Norah never speaks ill of her desi heritage, but readily admits the traditions are not for her. She wants more than an arranged marriage with a rich husband, however, instead of being a firm conviction, it’s a recurring theme her family makes fun of and disrespects. When Norah finds her spine and speaks up, it’s out of anger, over-the-top, and at the wrong time.

However, when Norah decides to follow her conscious regardless of the consequences, I applaud her. I have a problem with her timeliness, but even in that, I must give her credit for finally being true to herself.

Though Norah’s journey is cautionary, it is a transparent gaze into the hospital hierarchy of interns, residents, and attending physicians.

And it’s not a good look when career aspirations are put ahead of patient lives.

But The White Coat Diaries is a good look past the medical profession into the personalities and motivations of future doctors and their mentors, and what… and who they’re willing to sacrifice to achieve their goals.
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Super cute! If you're a Grey's or medical drama fan, definitely read this one! It was a teeny bit long and slightly predictable but overall very good. I struggled with the main character a little bit - she was a little too naive for me, but I think it worked for the story. The ending felt a little rushed for me but I think it wrapped up pretty well. A fun, juicy read.
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Although book marketing comparisons don't always get it right (not every book featuring witches and wizards is "the next Harry Potter"!), the "Grey's Anatomy meets Scrubs is the perfect pitch for The White Coat Diaries. Readers who enjoy the high stakes medical and personal drama of Grey's and the quirkiness of Scrubs will feel right at home alongside intern Norah Kapadia in the halls of Philadelphia General Hospital.

The White Coat Diaries follows Norah through her sleep deprived residency, where she battles imposter syndrome, cranky patients, crankier attendings, and her growing feelings for her chief resident. On top of that she carries the weight of her deceased father's medical legacy, her mother's disappointment that she's still single, and her brother's disappointment that she can't take on more parental care duties.

This is a good title for readers who enjoy stories about characters coming in to their own or navigating early adulthood and figuring out where they fit in the world. The novel's strongest moments are those in which Norah is reflecting on her relationship with her mother and taking serious stock of her career. Readers may put off by the fact that the "fatal medical mistake" alluded to in the synopsis happens rather late in the book (making some of the final chapters feel a bit rushed) and that certain storylines are rather abruptly concluded with little in depth exploration of how Norah and her colleagues are affected.

An overall enjoyable reading experience, but one that will probably leave some readers feeling underwhelmed. 3.5 stars.
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I absolutely felt the vibes of both Grey Anatomy and Scrubs (which were referenced in the book description) in reading this book.   The book actually reads almost like a set of story lines to be used in developing a script for a new medical show.  

The positives for me: 
*Really enjoyed the cultural aspects of the main character and her mother
*Good medical events (in some cases) used to illustrate the chaos and stress interns and residents face
*Good creation of camaraderie across the med students

Some areas that could be tweaked:
*The romance plots felt a bit empty - there was no fizzle or sizzle for me with any of those connections
*The medical events seemed to focus on a lot of extreme cases (hence the Grey's similarity) but it felt like to many medical mistakes and wonky situations for the story line 

Overall, this was a fast read for me, and although I still don't seem to fall in love with medical dramas, this one captured my attention.
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Gray’s Anatomy meets Scrubs? I HAD to read this one! (Thanks @berkleypub for the copy)

Norah Kapadia is a recent medical school graduate just starting her internship (the first year of residency) and wow, did this bring back memories! I thought I had blocked that horrible year out 😬. But it all came galloping back: the crushing sense of incompetence, the long hours filled with checklists and tasks, the constant fear of screwing up and hurting a patient, and of course, the debilitating, omnipresent fatigue. Mix in the pressure Norah felt from her Indian-American family, plus the heady feelings of first love and a doozy of a moral dilemma, and this one kept me turning pages.

To be clear: this is NOT a romance or a romcom or anything related—this is women’s fiction about identity and family expectations and learning to own one’s choices. As such, it works well. There were times that Norah wasn’t very likable, and I didn’t agree with everything she did, and I didn’t necessarily understand why she made a certain decision at the very end, but humans are complex and I can appreciate a messy ending. This isn’t as funny as Scrubs or as emotional as Gray’s Anatomy, but it did feel fairly true to life and for that, I am grateful. Too often the realities of medical training are glossed over, when those were intensely difficult years. I recommend this for those who enjoy accessible women’s fiction and medical dramas.


(Berkley was kind enough to surprise me with a physical copy after sending a digital one via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Much appreciated!)
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This novel focuses on a young Indian woman's struggle to the perfect daughter and doctor.  After she falls in love with the chief resident and is pulled into a fatal medical incident, her loyalty to not only her career, but to herself are tested.  This book was partly based in Philadelphia, which was a nice surprise for me.  This was typical chick lit.
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