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Prognosis: Poor is a poignant snapshot of one physician's medical training. Frances Southwick, D.O. explores the highs and lows (more often the lows) of the process of becoming a doctor. She delivers colorful detail inside the mind of one trainee, herself, through undergraduate school, medical school and residency. The book focuses most heavily on the capstone of family medicine training: three years of residency in a well-respected Pittsburgh hospital. Dr. Southwick courageously explores her most difficult moments of self-doubt and hopelessness, but wraps the text up with a chapter cataloguing current problems in the training process and how they might be remedied. This memoir highlights the problem of depression in physicians and physicians-in-training as a looming, large, current problem. Greg Gallik, D.O., Dr. Southwick's mentor and the medical director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's Family Health Center states: Prognosis Poor shines a much needed light on medical training in the U.S. Frances Southwick somberly illustrates the intense demands placed on those who choose to devote their lives to improve the health of others while simultaneously forcing them to ignore their own. Dr. Southwick's memoir has triggered many similar memories of my own medical training and pointedly shows how little we have learned. She has succeeded in describing the idealistic driving force behind a student's desire to become a physician contrasted with the often painful reality of the process itself. It is my hope that this book will contribute to creating a more humane and supportive medical training experience for the next generation of young doctors.
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