Scrubs meets David Sedaris in this hilarious fish-out-of- water memoir about a young Korean-American nerd turned renowned plastic surgeon.
Tony Youn grew up one of two Asian-American kids in a small town where diversity was uncommon. Too tall and too thin, he wore thick Coke-bottle glasses, braces, Hannibal Lecter headgear, and had a protruding jaw that one day began to grow, expanding to an unthinkable, monstrous size. After high school graduation, while other seniors partied at the beach or explored Europe, Youn lay strapped in an oral surgeon’s chair where he underwent a life-changing jaw reconstruction. Ironically, it was this brutal makeover that led him to his life’s calling, and he continued on to endure the four horrific, hilarious, sex-starved, and tension-filled years that eventually earned him an M.D. Offering a window into a side of medicine that most people never see, Youn shares his bumpy journey from a shy, skinny, awkward nerd into a renowned and successful plastic surgeon.
Now, Youn is the media’s go-to plastic surgeon. He appears regularly on The Rachael Ray Show, and his blog, Celebrity Cosmetic Surgery, is widely read and very popular. But it was a long road to success, and In Stitches recounts Dr. Youn’s misfit adolescence and his four tumultuous years in medical school with striking wit, heart, and humility.
For anyone who has ever experienced the awkward teenage years or is ready for some escapist fun, In Stitches is one man’s heartfelt, candid, and laugh-out-loud funny, journey of finding his true calling in life—and learning to be comfortable in his own skin.
In his first book Youn looks back from the cushy perspective of the plastic surgeon at his transformation, letting readers in on a secret: it wasn't easy. Young Youn was an outcast, an "Asian American...in near wall-to-wall whiteness"; his adolescence was an accumulation of sour moments eventually leading to medicine. But the journey, as Youn describes it, is hilarious. A dedicated student, he spends much of his time with his roommates in the "nerd room." He practices sutures on pig's feet and chicken breasts. His roommates tutor him in matters of love and lust. Only two hours into his very first rotation, Youn loses his first patient; "Patients die. Get used to it. This is a hospital," the attending barks at him. As Youn moves through specialty rotations, agonizing over what to select, his father urges him to make the right choice: pediatrics, for instance, means a life of "tiny people, tiny dollah!" Ironically, it's a night during Youn's Peds rotation that changed the course of his life. Youn's description of his journey from high-school outcast to rock star plastic surgeon is full of fascinating stories and laced with self-deprecating humor in the midst of dark desperation, providing a refreshing insight into medicine.