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This Won't Hurt a Bit (and other white lies): My Education in Medicine and Motherhood    by Michelle Au order for
This Won't Hurt a Bit (and other white lies)
by Michelle Au
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Michelle Au received her MD from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 2003. Married to Dr. Joseph Walrath, the mother of two sons is an anesthesiologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. She has also been writing about her career and motherhood for a decade online ( and is the author of the infamous Scutmonkey comic strips.

How she found time to fit writing this memoir into her frenetic schedule is a mystery, but, fortunately, she did. The end product is this account of how she went from watching episodes of ER on TV to being a real doctor.

What makes this no-holds barred account of what modern medical education feels like, from the grim to the ridiculous and from the heartwarming to the obscene, is entertaining in that the author gives you a glimpse of her life in and out of the classroom and hospital.

What's even more intriguing is that since she and her husband had their first child while they were both in their medical residencies means you get a sense of how challenging adding parenthood to the mix can be. Au discusses the demands of being a parent and wife with the life-and-death responsibilities that a physician faces daily.

You'll run the gamut of emotions from laughter to tears as you read this beguiling account of Michelle Au's education as a doctor and parent.

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