Picks and Pans Review: Baby Doctor
This affecting account of her internship and residency at a Boston pediatric hospital is an antidote to Klass' recent dismal novel, Other Women's Children. In this book she writes movingly of terminally ill children who seem to know as much about their diseases as she does and about the chronically ill who want nothing more than a normal existence. She writes vividly about exhaustion-hazed nights on call, the infernal beeper that summons her from sleep, from time with her own two children.
Fortunately, Klass does not see herself as any kind of Marcus Welby—a Dr. Joel Fleischman of Northern Exposure, maybe. Certainly, Ben Casey and Dr. Kildare would have no truck with her self-doubts, her minor mistakes and miscalculations, her admission that she's none too crazy about some of her patients, her feverish need to write down her ward experiences "as a defense against mortality."
Except for one self-serving chapter detailing her persecution by an unknown nemesis who falsely accuses her of plagiarism (she suspects some jealous reader or doctor), Baby Doctor is a moving saga of hard-won wisdom and lessons still to learn. (Random House, $22)