Cover Image: Committed


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Member Reviews

I don't read memoirs/nonfiction as much as I would like to, but give me a medical memoir or anything dealing with psychology/mental health and I'm in! We follow Adam Stern as he's going through residency and training to be a psychiatrist while also, dealing with imposter syndrome and navigating his own personal relationships along the way. The most engaging parts of the book were the patients Adam came across and how he connected with them and the personal issues that they were struggling with.

The biggest drawback for me was the incorporation of his outside relationships-- his love life, his family, etc, Although I know that's inevitable given that it is a memoir of his life, I could've done with less emphasis on those aspects as I felt like it took my focus away from what I mainly wanted out of the book which was the medical/psychiatric aspect and his patients.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I loved this medical memoir by Adam Stern! This is the first medical memoir I have read that has a focus on psychiatry and I learned so much about the field and the challenges residents face that are specific to this challenging placement. Stern included a perfect mix of short patient stories and longer term patients whom he connected with and followed over a number of years. This gave the opportunity for readers to enjoy a few short anecdotes about patients that were not as important to the story overall as well as to unfold the mystery related to some patients over time, much like the doctors on their cases. I also loved the balance between medical related content and general memoir life content such as relationships, family and growing up as a resident. This is a great memoir and I am so thankful to Netgalley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book!
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When I saw this book I knew it was a book I wanted to read! It did not disappoint. 

We follow the journey of Adam throughout his 4 years at medical school. I was captivated throughout.
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Some insightful moments into human nature and relationships which were emotional and thought provoking. An easy read about the journey of a trainee psychiatrist and the ups and downs experienced. The personal journey of Dr. Adam Stern's relationship added an additional layer to the story. However, the inclusion of numerous text message extracts were superfluous and did not bring anything additional.
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I love a good non-fiction especially one focusing on the medical field. Psychiatry has always interested me since I've been seeing people in the field for many years. Hearing stories about patients was very eye opening and in some cases relatable. 
Adam Stern is a genuinely nice person who you can tell actually cares about his patients. It was so interesting hearing how he felt while going through his training. It's such a good feeling hearing how non judgemental Adam and his coworkers were, and how they would help each other help their patients.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, maybe because I'm so interested in the "behind the scenes" of the field. I thought this was a well written and open story about the going ons of the author's personal experience. I wouldn't mind reading about what happens in his life after this book in the future.
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This memoir is a brilliant account of a doctor-in-training undergoing the rollercoaster of residency and dating. You follow Dr. Stern as he starts his training at Harvard, all the way through until graduation. He details, in a HIPAA compliant way, some interesting patient encounters all the while interweaving some important events occurring in his own life. There are many life and clinical lessons sprinkled in that I will take forward with me in my medical training. 

Thank you NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC of this book. It is my favourite book so far of 2022!
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I enjoy medical memoirs but when I saw this was a memoir from a psychiatrist, I was really interested! I work in psychiatry so I really wanted to see how much I could relate too (Spoiler: I could relate a lot).

I liked the way Adam showcased the differing ailments his patients presented with including shedding light on some of the less "trendy" illnesses like schizophrenia. He was also able to convey the human aspect of these illnesses really well.

The open discussion in this book surrounding medication, chronic mental illnesses and admissions to acute units may go some way to breaking down the stigma that still exists in society.

I also enjoyed the personal elements of this memior and really felt like they added to the book.

Overall I gave this 4 stars!

Thank you to Adam Stern, Mariner Books & NetGalley for an eArc of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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A great read from a psychiatrist in training. As someone who works with people that are suffering with mental health issues I found this book really enjoyable to read and fascinating.
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A mental health must read! Before reading this memoir, I did not know about the detailed training rotations of psychiatry resident, especially their emotional training. I found Adam’s experience relatable but also eye-opening! I enjoyed how he weaved personal aspects of his journey along with the medical journey of a psychiatry resident. I think this book could help anyone empathize more!
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Really enjoyed this book! It was like Girl Interrupted from the doctor's perspective. I also loved the tie-in of the author's personal life, i think it made the story flow nicely. Readers of Maybe You Should Talk to Someone will really enjoy this one. I found it fascinating especially with the setting of Boston's world renowned hospitals.
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“Can a psychiatrist consult about their problems and get help from another psychiatrist? Do you feel like you don’t belong in the place where you are doing your dream job now?” Those are two important questions that linger in Adam Stern’s mind as he began his residency at Harvard Longwood.

This is my second medical memoir after When Breath Becomes Air. Adam Stern was a medical student at a state school in New York before getting matched as a psychiatrist in resident at Harvard Longwood. At first, he felt as though he did not belong there as some of his co-residents are graduates from Ivy Leagues and other prestigious medical schools, whereas he came from a virtually unknown academic institution. But it is through his story while doing residency that is split into four parts, corresponding to the four years duration that a resident has to go through in order to become a full-fledged psychiatrist, that Adam Stern finally finds his commitment to this field and find his sense of belonging.

I have read several books previously about mental healthcare, but never one that is written from the perspective of a psychiatrist (outside of Freud’s works, of course). The words that Adam Stern use are easy to digest, without discounting his own anxieties and insecurities about his job as a resident. One of the funniest stories is of course his attempt to find a date throughout his residency. As a psychiatrist in resident, he was tasked with demanding workloads that could take more than 80 hours per week to attend to patients’ needs and finishing paperwork, which practically left him with little time to socialize outside his job.

It paints a picture of how psychiatrists are humans too and they need to cope with their own insecurities while also getting exposed to the neurotic cases brought about from interactions with their patients. Adam Stern is not afraid to describe his own shortcomings throughout his story, from his failure to secure dates with prospective girlfriends, facing failure as one of his patients committed suicide, as well as coming to see another psychiatry since he could not deal alone with the mental difficulties plaguing his mind after his patient’s suicide. Honestly, I find reading Adam Stern’s words therapeutic since I could relate with his feeling of not belonging and his capacity of reflecting on his failures that taught him to move further in life.

Adam Stern focuses his story on two points. First, his experience as a psychiatrist in residence. Second, his dating life during his residency. These two points interchange frequently and there might be people getting disappointed for wishing to read something more serious and academic about the experience of a psychiatrist. But I find that the frequent interchanges is a good way to relax throughout the reading of this memoir and maybe we could sympathize further and say that doctors (especially psychiatrists) have their needs of finding a work-life balance away from their hospitals too.
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It's not often you hear books from residents themselves, and I'm forever grateful. As an aspiring physician, learning more from firsthand accounts of the field at large is a voice that needs to be held high, especially during current times where medical advice is so often unheeded.
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I really enjoyed this memoir of a young man training to become a psychiatrist. During his Harvard residency he meets and connects with a number of patients with issues ranging from anorexia to depression. As I counselor I found the stories to be fascinating. This memoir is well written opens the door on what is often a mysterious process. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in psychiatry, memoir, or mental health.
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This is an extremely engaging memoir about a young man training to be a psychiatrist in a prestigious programme. I enjoyed it very much, although it was quite harrowing at times, but while reading it, you almost feel that Adam and his patients are friends, and you are really concerned about what happens to them. Adam also includes the moving story of his love affair.

When Adam first joins the residency, he is thrown in at the deep end, and sees patients at night. They include anorexic Jane, depressed Debbie, and Charlie, who has cancer. He starts to bond with the other residents, forming a close-knit group, and they have a lovely mentor and boss, who is very helpful. However, Adam starts to take the problems of his patients home with him, and he eventually finds that he needs a psychiatrist himself...

This is an interesting book for anyone, but especially for medical and psychiatric students.

I received this free ebook from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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How does one become a psychiatrist? How can anyone understand what makes another person tick? Those are the questions this memoir—the story of how Adam Stern trained for and ultimately became a psychiatrist—tries to answer.

We meet the fledgling Dr. Stern as he matches from a nondescript New York state medical hospital into a residency at Harvard Medical School. He can hardly believe it himself and wonders if it isn’t some type of mistake.

“Everyone around me at the new program was so bright and already accomplished that I didn’t see myself belonging. I felt like an imposter,” Stern writes.

This is just the first in a series of annoying humble brags that permeate this book. It’s a form of self-deprecating humor except that it’s not self-deprecating and, come to think of it, it’s not really humor, either. Dr. Stern sets himself up time and again with thoughts of inadequacy and, when he succeeds, we’re supposed to be as surprised as he is.

Except we’re not. Dr. Stern’s father and brother are doctors, and he is from a well-off, white family on Long Island. He has every advantage society can bestow and seems to the manor born. His story ain’t exactly The Coal Miner’s Daughter.

That’s not to say this memoir is without merit. Dr. Stern’s humanity and his ability to write about his suffering patients saves the day and makes the memoir an intellectual page-turner.

It is illuminating (and maybe a little unsettling) to know that, even in as prestigious a medical school as Harvard, the recruits go in understanding very little about their chosen field and learn by doing. Almost like a car mechanic. And when the book succeeds, it’s because Dr. Stern writes humanely about his interactions with patients such as Jane, who suffers from anorexia nervosa.

Dr. Stern engages with her very early in his residency, and we can feel his inadequacy when she tells him “I don’t want to die.”

“All of the responses my mind went to were wrong. You’re going to be okay. We’ll find a way through this. It’s all right. In real life, if Jane were a friend, I’d give her a hug, but that couldn’t be the way of a psychiatrist.

“I leaned forward and connected with her eyes. ‘I know,’ I said.

“That was all I had, but in the moment it was enough. We sat quietly together for a long time and eventually my pager went off.

“’Go,’ she said. ‘It’s okay.’

“Turning my back to her and leaving the room felt wrong in my gut, but still I did it.”

It would be a spoiler to relate what ultimately happens with Jane, but she does reappear later in Dr. Stern’s residency.

Because this is a memoir and not only an essay about how to become a psychiatrist, Dr. Stern regales us with tales of his dating adventures and love life. How you feel about him after reading how he interacts with various women will make you empathize with his Joe Schmo behavior or make you think his ancestors were the first nebbishes to walk the earth.

Toward the end of the book, Dr. Stern asks himself the ultimate question everyone wonders about the field of psychiatry: Is this entire field some kind of made-up sham? It does not have the precision of other medical specialties and largely depends on what the patient answers when the doctor asks, “What do you think?”

It’s not for nothing that a favorite line among budding psychiatrists is: “Don’t just sit there. Do nothing.”

It’s largely a listening disciple. Does that make it medicine? The job seems impossible, and this memoir does little to convince the reader that, yes, these guys really know what they’re doing. On the contrary, it’s easy to come away from this memoir wondering if, instead of spending all that money on therapy, one might be just as well served heading to a nearby bar to hear the wisdom of barstool gurus.

In the end, Stern settles for small victories and rationalizes that whether his patients continue suffering or even die, he can take succor in knowing he helped a little bit. Then again, maybe not. Maybe we require a little more from our doctors.
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Loved this book :) this was the first medical memoir I have ever read and I really enjoyed it :) it was such a great mix of medical and personal information:) I really liked the stories about the patients and there were a few times I shed some tears :( great read and I hope he writes another book :)
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I'm a sucker for any psychology/psychiatry related books as this is the field I practice. I loved Committed. Adam Stern showed an honest and intriguing picture of what it looks like to begin working in the mental health field. He so adequately described the imposter syndrome that affects all of us in those first few years. Adam was the kind of author I wished I could invite to dinner. Highly recommend.
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I am not sure what I thought this would be but it wasn't much of a memoir and was more information of the medical field in general. It was not interested to me
At all.
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I loved this book.  Such an interesting glimpse into Adam's psych residency and training. I was invested in the story and loved following the process he went through to become a psychiatrist.
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Overall, I really enjoyed it. I particularly liked the approach of trying to detail the experience as it was and not trying to embellish it to make it more exciting or intriguing.
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