Something for the Pain: One Doctor's Account of Life and Death in the ER (Hardcover)

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November 2008 Indie Next List

“Paul Austin is an ER doctor and a gifted writer, who recounts his years in medical school and his shifts in the ER. This is a beautifully written, personal story of a strong, compassionate man and his efforts to save lives and ease the pain of people in trouble.”
— Helen Stewart, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC


In this riveting memoir, an ER doctor reveals how his high-stress career of helping others led to a struggle to save himself.

"It turns out there are all kinds of things about working in an ER that most of us haven't learned from TV or having sat in one. In Something for the Pain, Paul Austin—the ER doc you'd hope to get if something really bad happened—tells us, vividly and with uncommon candor, how, if you aren't careful, saving people's lives can make you sick."—Ted Conover, author of NewjackIn this eye-opening account of life in the ER, Paul Austin recalls how the daily grind of long, erratic shifts and endless hordes of patients with sad stories sent him down a path of bitterness and cynicism. His own life becomes Exhibit A, as he details the emotional detachment that estranges him from himself and his family. Gritty, powerful, and ultimately redemptive, Austin's memoir is a revealing glimpse into the fragility of compassion and sanity in the industrial setting of today's hospitals.

About the Author

Paul Austin, an emergency-room doctor, is the author of two memoirs: Something for the Pain and Beautiful Eyes. His essays have appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the Southeast Review, and the Gettysburg Review. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393065602
ISBN-10: 039306560X
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: September 17th, 2008
Pages: 304
Language: English