Review by tendwa -- The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles

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Review by tendwa -- The Surgeon's Wife by William H. Coles

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[Following is a volunteer review of "The Surgeon's Wife" by William H. Coles.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Surgeon’s Wife by William H. Coles is a very fascinating book. This book begins by looking at Professor Clayton Otherson a surgeon. Clayton makes a mistake at some point in a surgical procedure. His colleague Paul Smythe, an anaesthetist, goes into a different Operating Room to ask Doctor Michael Boudreaux to come and help in handling Clayton’s mistake. After the operation, Paul Smythe prepares an incident report on Clayton. Mike is asked to act on it.

Professor Clayton Otherson was Mike’s professor and mentor during training. Mike had become the Chief of Service at the University Hospital; technically he was Clayton’s boss. After Clayton’s mistake, Mike as the Chief of Service, was required to take action against him. Mike paid Clayton a visit at his home. Clayton’s wife Catherine received Mike. Mike tried to convince Clayton to step down but to no avail. Catherine was concerned about the situation, she implored Mike to handle that situation, but according to Mike, that situation was beyond his capacity to handle. The Operating Room (OR) committee met; after a heated debate they resolved to have Clayton undergo further training and operate under supervision. Clayton followed those rules that were laid down by the OR committee for a while.

Even though Catherine was married to Clayton, she did not feel loved by Clayton. Catherine had a conversation with Rosemary Dayside - Mike’s girl friend. Rosie didn’t feel adequately loved by Mike. Rosie left Mike for someone else. From Rosie’s chat with Catherine, Catherine started falling in love with Mike. One day Catherine paid Mike a visit at his house and told Mike that she was in love with him. They started having an affair; they thought no one knew about it. Not long after their affair had started, a patient Clayton was operating on died. Clayton was suspended indefinitely. When Mike was conveying the suspension message to Clayton, Clayton blamed Mike. Clayton told Mike that his affair with Catherine was what distracted him.

This book has a good flow; the story moves from one event to the next in an organized manner. Characters are well formed; when you look at any of the main characters – Mike, Clayton and Catherine - there is consistency in their behaviour. If you look at someone like Mike, he was depicted as a reasonable person; he remained reasonable thought this book. Clayton was portrayed as a stubborn individual; he remained stubborn in the entire book. Catherine was depicted as a strong willed lady; she remained strong willed in the entire book. This book has been done in a way that, you cannot predict what is ahead; this is a great way of keeping a reader engrossed, from cover to cover.

I liked the way this book discussed about handling of obesity, two approaches were discussed: surgery and lifestyle changes. Clayton favours surgery; the writer indicates that Clayton’s main motivation was financial gain and fame. It was also pointed out that the weight loss did not last as long as it should have, for the most part, when surgery was done. Complications during and after surgery were common as well. Mike on his part favours lifestyle changes, this consisted of: diet, exercise, and counselling. Lifestyle changes removed the risk of operating on people who were not fit for surgery.

There was a very good lesson brought out by the writer on how to handle teenage girls. Two teenage girls featured prominently in this book: Mellissa Otherson and Helen Rappaport. Both girls had one thing in common; they were not in good terms with their parents. It took the intervention of Mike to make Mellissa to relate well with Catherine – her mom. Angie Picard and Mike helped in turning around the life of Helen. The writer indicates that parents of both teenage girls favored using force on those girls, something that did not work. Mike and Angie Picard’s approach was speaking to those girls without judging them.

The only thing within this book that was intimidating was the use of medical jargon – rescrub, retractors, drapes, bariatric, laparoscopy - especially in Operating Rooms. Readers who are not from the medical profession can struggle to follow.

This book was professionally edited, it is fun to read, I therefore rate it 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend this book to all parents, especially parents of teenage girls. Medics can also enjoy reading this book, it explores these topics: ethics, wealth, and health in the medical profession.

The Surgeon's Wife
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