Final Exam: A Surgeon's Reflections on Mortality
A brilliant young transplant surgeon brings moral intensity and narrative drama to the most powerful and vexing questions of medicine and the human condition. When Chen began medical school, she dreamed of saving lives-- what she did not count on was how much death would be a part of her work. Almost immediately, Chen found herself wrestling with medicine's most profound paradox, that a profession premised on caring for the ill also systematically depersonalizes dying. Over the course of her education, training, and practice, she grappled at strikingly close range with the problem of mortality, struggling to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate knowledge of shared humanity, and to separate her ideas about healing from her fierce desire to cure. Her rumination on how doctors negotiate the ineluctable fact of death becomes, in the end, a provocative questioning of how we should live.--From publisher description.