Every time surgeons operate, they're betting their skills are better than the brain tumor, the faulty heart valve, the fractured femur. Sometimes, they're wrong. At Chelsea General, surgeons answer for bad outcomes at the Morbidity and Mortality conference, known as M & M. This extraordinary peek behind the curtain into what is considered the most secretive meeting in all of medicine is the back drop for the entire book.
Monday Mornings, by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, follows the lives of five surgeons at Chelsea General as they push the limits of their abilities and confront their personal and professional failings, often in front of their peers at M & M. It is on Monday mornings that reflection and introspection occurs, usually in private. It is Monday Mornings that provides a unique look at the real method in which surgeons learn - through their mistakes. It is Monday Mornings when, if you're lucky, you have a chance at redemption.
In his fiction debut, Dr. Gupta a practicing neurosurgeon and Chief Medical Correspondent at CNN transports readers into an exclusive cadre of Chelsea General surgeons linked by the dreaded and revered Morbidity and Mortality (M&M) conferences on the titular Monday mornings the meetings at which doctors are held accountable for mistakes or deaths in the operating room. Each of the lavishly described (though emotionally flat) main characters is a caricature of a surgeon: for the overly-dedicated Sydney Saxena, life is career, pager, exercise. Tina Ridgeway the gorgeous, married brainiac and heartthrob Ty Wilson, the first to endure an M&M, satisfy the requisite hospital drama illicit romance; meticulous Sung Park wants to see Ty "publicly crucified;" and XXXL-scrubbed George "Gato Grande" Villanueva is the brilliant, brash, ER chief and former NFL player around which much of the novel revolves. Despite these potentially intriguing character sketches and plot points, Gupta (Cheating Death) attempts to weave too many threads and is thus unable to sufficiently develop his doctors or a compelling story line. Though the book reads quickly, medical jargon will alternately intrigue and frustrate a general audience, and readers will be left wondering whether Gupta should be the subject of his own M&M.
I work in a large hospital and this is in sync with the under currents I have always felt existed. None of us are free from the stresses of the outside world even though ours is such an all consuming one, sometimes we feel we exist differently than others. This shows the humanness of even neurosurgeons, at the end the simple things of life, a leaf, a child's laugh, an autumn evening are the beautiful things in life. Thank you Dr Gupta for this compelling read. Joyce RPh
First 72 pages
The first 72 pages are captivating enough to convince me to buy the book. Well written, well developed characters, and interesting plot.
From reading the preview, it seems to be a gripping read so far. I've pre-ordered my copy.