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Gentle vengeance : an account of the first year at Harvard Medical School

Author: Charles LeBaron
Publisher: New York : Penguin Books, 1982, ©1981.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
"Author Charles LeBaron applied as a mature student to two med schools, one of which was Harvard. Acceptance from both presents him with an enviable dilemma, and everyone he asks advises him to choose Harvard. Well, nearly everyone; the sole dissenter is a Harvard alumnus. Harvard is mired in its own tautological mystique; Harvard educated doctors are considered the best for no other reason than because they ARE
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
LeBaron, Charles, 1943-
Gentle vengeance.
New York : Penguin Books, 1982, ©1981
(OCoLC)769699209
Named Person: Charles LeBaron; Charles LeBaron
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Charles LeBaron
ISBN: 0140061061 9780140061062
OCLC Number: 7733951
Description: 271 pages ; 20 cm
Responsibility: by Charles LeBaron.

Abstract:

"Author Charles LeBaron applied as a mature student to two med schools, one of which was Harvard. Acceptance from both presents him with an enviable dilemma, and everyone he asks advises him to choose Harvard. Well, nearly everyone; the sole dissenter is a Harvard alumnus. Harvard is mired in its own tautological mystique; Harvard educated doctors are considered the best for no other reason than because they ARE from Harvard. Consequently the institution is content to rest on its laurels, preserve the status quo and do a lot more to preserve this reputation than to deserve it. Unlike most of his classmates, LeBaron has not spent his entire life in a lab and so can afford a luxurious sense of wonder about the human body, evolution, bacteria, and the possibility of a Higher Power. He also very soon finds himself at odds with the very philosophy of this particular school; on the very first day he allies with a couple of classmates in circulating a petition to reschedule Saturday classes... little realizing just how cherished a tradition of Harvard this is.

LeBaron has worked at the Lower Manhattan Rehab by day while cramming science courses by night as preparation for med school. His experiences in the trenches of the medical profession and as the child of terminally ill parents give him a rare perspective on the fallibility of doctors. Only too familiar with their callous and distant side, he is determined not to allow the system to warp him. A man of rare compassion, he draws inspiration from several former clients, and these flashbacks provide some of the most moving material in the book And yet for all this insight, the author occasionally displays a stunning naivete. Feeling overwhelmed at one point, he asks his instructor where he would be better off concentrating his dwindling study time, and is told that only muscles and nerves will be on the final, none of the bones or blood vessels. (Hook, line and sinker!) Somehow the author makes time to record his impressions of the first year of Harvard Medical School, and like all such memoirs, it includes often hilarious glimpses of student life: pressure cooker weeks relieved by drunken costume parties... the giddy, chaotic faculty-student Christmas party... in the middle of the night as everybody is cramming for finals, a power failure suddenly hits. His instructors and fellow students are so deftly drawn with such well-chosen and amusing details, you're left wondering if you could have met them in some of your own classes ..."--Amazon.com, review, Molly Beckett.

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