Book review: The Surgeon’s Wife

The Surgeon’s Wife By William H. Coles. 2011. ISBN 13: 978-1-45676-254-4. Hardcover,, 212 pgs. $24.65.

This fictional story at its base is about an adulterous affair between a surgeon and the young wife of his aging and professionally deteriorating mentor. But winding in and out of the tale is a story of disappointment, paranoia, and the paternalistic ego-driven stereotype perceived to exist in an older generation of surgeons. Past mentorship, support, and acclamations of success are not always enough to support a career in its wane. Medical and surgical ethics, matrimonial obligations, the need for kindness and humanity both for patients and colleagues, courage to do the right thing in one sphere even when fallibility in another sphere is demonstrated: all of these issues circulate through the story. It’s an interesting (if sometimes unrealistic) tale, and is well written with some unpredicted twists.

Cynthia Verchere, MD. Book review: The Surgeon’s Wife. BCMJ, Vol. 55, No. 7, September, 2013, Page(s) 334 - News.

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