Have you read Sam Shem’s The House of God? I am not sure I would recommend it but…. you should know about this book.  Many hospitals were started by and are still supported by religious communities so I recognized the reference. After all, the charity hospital in New Orleans was locally known as Hotel-Dieu, House of God.

For me the book, about the internship year of Sam Shem, was prescient. I had just started medical school that summer and in a few years, I would be an intern. The book shook me to my foundation. I had no family or personal experience with medicine.  Here was an insider’s report on medical training and it was a long way from the image my medical school hoped to portray.

While my experiences were not as dramatic as those of Sam Shem, there were many, many parallels.  In reflecting back, I am surprised that there was not more of a reaction from the medical establishment and from the society, patients, and families.

 Aren’t you?



Learn about  Basch Unbound—The House of God and Fiction as Resistance at 40


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