This is the first of an occasional series of posts where I’ll pull together a bunch of book recommendations from our beloved R&R crew. It seems that this posse of medical uber geeks likes to read stuff other than journal articles. I’ve asked them all which books they’d recommend emergency medicine and critical care should or must read — for whatever reason. I’ll be grouping them into loosely woven themes, but the recommendations can be anything — fiction, non-fiction, classic literature, self-help, poetry, comics, pop-up books… you name it.
The theme for the first edition of Books in the FASTLANE is:
‘Reading for kicks and giggles, sometimes amidst despair and darkness’
Here are the 5 recommendations:
Shit my Dad Says by Justin Halpern
“About a guy who moves back in with his father. Book is basically quotes from the dad, and they are funny as hell. His dad is a physician, I think, but this book isn’t medical. Just good old fashion family fun.Rob Rogers
I read this book based on Rob’s recommendation and my zygomaticus majors were aching afterwards from the work out. Interestingly, my own father didn’t seem to think there was anything odd about the fatherly advice given in this book…
Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
Outrageously funny – the original LOL. Despair and darknessGerard Fennessy
The book that was read, just at that epiphanal moment of angst-ridden teen-hood, which demonstrated that the world of adult-hood upon which one was just about to embark, was no better grounded in sense, than that of the one just about to be left. I will be forever grateful for the reminder that life is based upon the ridiculous, and the mostly meaningless. The medical references were also close to perfect.Michelle Johnston
This is also one of my own all time favourites. From my own short stint in the NZ Army, I can assure this book is more realistic than it seems. Furthermore, the practice of emergency medicine and war seem to have a lot of features in common.
“Had a bad day? plug in your ipad and read this. Funny, witty and not depressing at all!Heike Geduld
I’ve added this to my reading list!
House of God by Samuel Shem
“This is the one book every medical student and intern in my generation seemed to have devoured. Scabrous and still wildly funny, it reads like an episode of “Marcus Welby” directed by Antonin Artaud. As John Updike pointed out in an introduction to the 1993 reprint, the novel “did for medical training what ‘Catch-22’ did for military life”. Absolutely indispensable, even 30 years later.Leon Gussow
Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams
“Always difficult to choose the best novel by my favourite author ever. But this, slightly lesser known one, is pretty much perfect. Funny, lots of time bending, intensely well observed, and beautifully worded, has to get the prize, amongst his incomparable joys and gifts to the world.Michelle Johnston
The early death of Douglas Adams was truly tragic. I wish he was still here. All of his books are brilliant – humorous and fanciful, but strangely spot on about the place of us humans in the universe I suspect. This is what happened when Doug met Struan Sutherland.
Chris is an Intensivist and ECMO specialist at the Alfred ICU in Melbourne. He is also a Clinical Adjunct Associate Professor at Monash University. He is a co-founder of the Australia and New Zealand Clinician Educator Network (ANZCEN) and is the Lead for the ANZCEN Clinician Educator Incubator programme. He is on the Board of Directors for the Intensive Care Foundation and is a First Part Examiner for the College of Intensive Care Medicine. He is an internationally recognised Clinician Educator with a passion for helping clinicians learn and for improving the clinical performance of individuals and collectives.
After finishing his medical degree at the University of Auckland, he continued post-graduate training in New Zealand as well as Australia’s Northern Territory, Perth and Melbourne. He has completed fellowship training in both intensive care medicine and emergency medicine, as well as post-graduate training in biochemistry, clinical toxicology, clinical epidemiology, and health professional education.
He is actively involved in in using translational simulation to improve patient care and the design of processes and systems at Alfred Health. He coordinates the Alfred ICU’s education and simulation programmes and runs the unit’s education website, INTENSIVE. He created the ‘Critically Ill Airway’ course and teaches on numerous courses around the world. He is one of the founders of the FOAM movement (Free Open-Access Medical education) and is co-creator of litfl.com, the RAGE podcast, the Resuscitology course, and the SMACC conference.
His one great achievement is being the father of three amazing children.
On Twitter, he is @precordialthump.