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Michelle Au started medical school armed only with a surfeit of idealism, a handful of old ER episodes for reference, and some vague notion about "helping people."

This Won't Hurt a Bit is the story of how she grew up and became a real doctor.

It's a no-holds-barred account of what a modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous, from the heartwarming to the obscene. Unlike most medical memoirs, however, this one details the author's struggles to maintain a life outside of the hospital, in the small amount of free time she had to live it. And, after she and her husband have a baby early in both their medical residencies, Au explores the demands of being a parent with those of a physician, two all-consuming jobs in which the lives of others are very literally in her hands.

Au's stories range from hilarious to heartbreaking and hit every note in between, proving more than anything that the creation of a new doctor (and a new parent) is far messier, far more uncertain, and far more gratifying than one could ever expect.

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This Won't Hurt a Bit
Average rating
4 / 5
Loved it!
June 8th, 2013
Excellent recounting of med school and residency as well as motherhood to boot! The blend of two professions can be crazy at times, but well worth the effort. I have 4 great kids, one of whom will soon be a doctor too, so the experience obviously didn't mar her for life! The others are all professionals too and we are loving family time together with a new grandchild. (And my hubby is an ophthalmologist too!!)
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