Book review: Direct Red

by Gabriel Weston

Book cover for Direct Red

Direct Red. By Gabriel Weston, MD. Mississau­ga, ON: Random House of Canada, 2009. ISBN 978-0-385-66580-3. Hardcov­er, 181 pages. $29.95.

In Direct Red, Dr Gabriel Weston shares her journey from medical student to fully qualified ENT surgeon. She uses patient and hospital vignettes to outline the training and skill required to master a surgical specialty. These same examples are used to show how humanity plays a vital role in her personal growth and professional development. Dr Weston is very open and honest about her struggles with death, ambition, family, and chauvinism. She is often the only young woman in the male-dominated, old-school operating rooms. As her career progresses her chosen specialty takes over her life, leading to un­happiness and disillusionment. The conflict between work and personal life is a familiar one. Eventually, the author finds her own balance by examining her values and commitments. Direct Red is an easy yet thought-provoking read.


David R. Richardson, MD. Book review: Direct Red. BCMJ, Vol. 51, No. 6, July, August, 2009, Page(s) 263 - News.

Above is the information needed to cite this article in your paper or presentation. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) recommends the following citation style, which is the now nearly universally accepted citation style for scientific papers:
Halpern SD, Ubel PA, Caplan AL, Marion DW, Palmer AM, Schiding JK, et al. Solid-organ transplantation in HIV-infected patients. N Engl J Med. 2002;347:284-7.

About the ICMJE and citation styles

The ICMJE is small group of editors of general medical journals who first met informally in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1978 to establish guidelines for the format of manuscripts submitted to their journals. The group became known as the Vancouver Group. Its requirements for manuscripts, including formats for bibliographic references developed by the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), were first published in 1979. The Vancouver Group expanded and evolved into the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE), which meets annually. The ICMJE created the Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals to help authors and editors create and distribute accurate, clear, easily accessible reports of biomedical studies.

An alternate version of ICMJE style is to additionally list the month an issue number, but since most journals use continuous pagination, the shorter form provides sufficient information to locate the reference. The NLM now lists all authors.

BCMJ standard citation style is a slight modification of the ICMJE/NLM style, as follows:

  • Only the first three authors are listed, followed by "et al."
  • There is no period after the journal name.
  • Page numbers are not abbreviated.

For more information on the ICMJE Recommendations for the Conduct, Reporting, Editing, and Publication of Scholarly Work in Medical Journals, visit

BCMJ Guidelines for Authors

Leave a Reply