No Crying in the Operating Room
by Cecily Wang M.D.
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Pub Date 14 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 28 Nov 2023
Cecily Wang wanted to become a doctor to help people in the most fundamental ways possible, only to become disillusioned with the profession during medical school and residency. It wasn’t until she went on an international relief mission to Haiti in 2006 that she found herself practicing medicine as she had originally envisioned. She was able to help a sick person in great need, unencumbered by red tape and regulations. The patient’s health was all that mattered.
Cecily has continued to do international work for the last decade with Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and other aid groups. She has served populations affected by earthquakes and cholera, famine and civil war, in Haiti and Myanmar, Samoa and Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria. In the process, Cecily has been stretched to her emotional limits, witnessed the worst and the best in human nature, and learned more about herself than she once could have imagined.
"Beside from loving feminist classics, I’m obsessed with books written about life and death philosophies. In NCITOR, Dr. Wang has her own way of describing death that no other books have done it before. “We American tends to see death as an enemy to fight at all costs. But what exactly are we fighting?...They celebrate the person’s death in the same way they celebrate their life.”
I packed this book on my 9hrs flight to Sydney, but I wasn’t going to a singular destination. Dr. Wang has brought me down a memory lane, that includes: my first day arriving in the U.S., to my high school years dealing with the insecurity of having an accent, to the valuable experience I gained from a medical mission in the Philippines as a premed, to my imaginary future life of hoping that my generation can create changes that were mentioned.
Your words have not only provided insight into the medical field as well as on-going issues health care workers currently facing, but they have also touched me on a personal level: as a first-gen immigrant, a premed, a human. Through your vulnerable and honest narratives (boldly criticized a knowingly well-established world organization), you have shed light on the unique complexities of medicine’s behind closed doors and the human experience. Your courage to share your own vulnerabilities and struggles has made a lasting impression on me, and it is a reminder that doctors are also humans and that even the most esteemed professionals face their own challenges.
Thank you for sharing your journey with the world."
Average rating from 5 members
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.
This is a fascinating look at internation aid groups, such as Doctors Without Borders. The comparison between the US healthcare system and how aid is provided in third world countries really shows how red tape and administrative policies hurt the ability to care for patients. Also, the third world country's patients are so much more grateful.