A License to Heal: Random Memories of an Er Doctor by Steven Bentley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
If you’ve ever worked in a hospital, ER, or with EMS, you’ll be nodding along as you read Dr. Bentley’s accounts of becoming a doctor and then working as an ED/ER physician. And if you’ve never worked in the medical field but have been frustrated by ER wait times, this book will give you a keen insight as to why ER’s have become so overcrowded and why those wait times are so long. The book reads like most memoirs, written in first person, but Dr. Bentley adds a personal touch to the stories that draw the reader in, making them feel as if Dr. Bentley is sharing his “war” stories over coffee. The one downside was with the editing. I hope he did not pay for an editing service because at one point in the book, the word “cliche” was actually spelled “clic***”, and the editor didn’t even catch it! Despite that, I enjoyed the stories within the book a great deal. Some made me laugh, some made me cry, and some made me angry. Having worked with this doctor before, I knew he had a kind heart, but the book really emphasizes his compassion. Which brings me to one other editing issue. Dr. Bentley used the word x-ray technician (a severely out-dated term) instead of x-ray technologist, several times, but since he admitted to being a dinosaur, it’s an understandable mistake. I still use the term ER instead of ED because I too am fast becoming a dinosaur. Dr. Bentley also delved into issues with the VA and the affordable health care act, letting his views be known without getting political, and quite frankly, I think he hit the nail on the head. You can’t run health care as you would a fortune 500 company and expect it to remain affordable. A really good read and had it not been for the editing issues, I would have given this book 4 stars.