About The Books
Intern is Dr. Sandeep Jauhar's story of his days and nights in residency at a prominent teaching hospital in New York City, a trial that led him to question every conventional assumption about doctors and medicine—and that makes him an ideal figure to speak to our own misgivings about doctors and medicine today.
Residency—and especially its first year, called "internship"—is an apprenticeship legendary for its brutality. Working eighty or more hours per week and staying up "on call" every fourth night, most new doctors spend their first year in a state of perpetual exhaustion, shunning family, friends, food, sex, and other pleasures—and asking themselves why they ever wanted to be doctors in the first place.
Jauhar's internship was even more harrowing than most: The younger son in an intensely competitive family, he switched from physics to medicine in order to follow a more humane calling—only to find that medicine is often a "cookbook" craft with little regard for the patient. He struggled to find a place among the hospital's squadrons of cocky Type-A residents and doctors. A journalist on the side, he challenged the spirit-breaking practices of the internship in The New York Times, attracting the suspicions of the medical bureaucracy. Then, suddenly stricken, he became a patient himself—an experience that gave him rare insight into the doctor-patient relationship, enabling him to see that today's high-tech, high-pressure medicine can be a humane science after all.
Now a thriving cardiologist, Sandeep Jauhar has all the qualities you'd want in your own doctor: expertise, insight, a feel for the human factor, a sense of humor, and a keen awareness of the worries that we all have in common.
His beautifully written, deeply felt memoir explains how he and his fellow interns survived—and explains the inner workings of modern medicine as no guidebook or magazine article can.
In his acclaimed memoir Intern, Sandeep Jauhar chronicled the harrowing, formative years of his residency at a prestigious New York City hospital. Doctored is his dramatic followup, a memoir that presents the crisis of American medicine through the life of an attending cardiologist.
Hoping for the stability he needs to start a family, Jauhar accepts a position at a massive teaching hospital on the outskirts of Queens. With a decade's worth of elite medical training behind him, he is keen to settle down and reap the rewards for countless sleepless nights. Instead, he is confronted with sobering truths: doctors’ morale is low and getting lower, and when doctors are unhappy, their patients are apt to be unhappy as well. He sees naked cronyism determining patient referrals, industry partnerships distorting medical decisions, and unnecessary tests being routinely performed in order to generate income. Meanwhile, a single patient in his hospital might see fifteen specialists in one stay, fail to receive a full picture of his actual condition, and leave with a bill for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Outraged at the state of his profession and troubled by patients’ undue suffering, Jauhar fights to keep his ideals intact. But Jauhar too finds himself ensnared in the system. Tormented by a mid-life crisis, and trying to make ends meet, he resorts to moonlighting for a profit-driven private practice that orders batteries of tests just to drum up fees and ward off malpractice lawsuits.
Provoked by his unsettling experiences, Jauhar has written an introspective memoir that is also an impassioned plea for reform. With American medicine at a crossroads, Doctored is the important work of a writer unafraid of challenging the establishment, admitting fault, and inciting controversy.