4 out of 4 stars
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The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles is a story about a physician, Dr. Mike Bordreaux, who is a top notch surgeon in a hospital in New Orleans. His professional life is helped and elevated by his mentor who is also at the same hospital. Problems arise when other professionals at the hospital "write up" his mentor and friend for being impaired and making mistakes during surgeries. This puts Mike in a difficult position and the story unfolds as he works out how to handle the growing impairment of this surgeon. To make matters more complicated, he falls in love with this man's wife.
There are two themes in this book. One theme that is dealt with throughout the book are all of the medical and ethical issues that are a part of the story. How the hospital staff deals with the failings of Mike's mentor makes for an interesting thread that runs throughout the book. The second theme is that of Mike Bordreaux's personal life and how he deals with personal conflicts and issues. These two themes are woven throughout and I enjoyed reading this book to see how it all worked out.
I liked that the book highlights and illustrates the egos of doctors as well as their professionalism. The author shows all of the tensions of a hospital that needs to make money and at the same time monitor their physicians and staff. In this story, mistakes are tolerated by colleagues and excuses are made. Dr. Mike Bordreaux is a part of this system and his loyalty to his mentor is very strong. How he works this out professionally and personally is interesting and held my attention to the end. One of my reactions to reading this book was that I found myself frustrated with the main character (Mike) because I wanted him to be stronger and more principled as a surgeon. Of course, then the story wouldn't have been as interesting or as complex.
I recommend this book to those who just enjoy a good story. It has a very surprising ending. It is one of those books that you want to finish reading. I put off starting dinner for over an hour so that I could finish the book.
I give this 4 out of 4 stars. It is a good story, well written and a great window into the fictional world of doctors and hospitals. I enjoyed this book.
The Surgeon's Wife
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