Thursday, August 1, 2019

Matt McCarthy, The Real Doctor Will See You Shortly: A Physician’s First Year (Crown, 2015)

Summer associate season has come and gone at law firms across the country. Eager young people dressed to impress are returning to jeans and flip-flops as they contemplate a return to law school in a few weeks. Those of us closer to the end than the beginning of our careers cast their minds back to a time when we could recite the names and holdings of significant court cases but were stymied by the simplest forms.

Ah yes, the distinction between book learning and practical skill. Turns out, the fancy schooling is a necessary but not sufficient precondition to a successful career. This is not news to old-timers. Whatever the field, somehow we must all bridge the gulf between knowledge and implementation.

And, indeed, the process is remarkably similar no matter what your field may be. Take, for instance, Dr. Matt McCarthy. A former minor league baseball player and graduate of Harvard Medical School, he finds himself thrown in the deep end as he begins his internship at a Manhattan hospital. He’s told that Ivy graduates have a reputation for being heavy on theory but light in practical skill. He discovers, to his chagrin, that he fits the stereotype.

The medical internship process may be more immersive than in other professions and lines of business (and the stakes may be higher), but the story arc determined by a steep learning curve is something entrepreneurs will recognize, whatever their background. There is simply no substitute for learning by doing, with the help and guidance of experienced mentors. In time, raging self-doubt will yield to competence and growing confidence. This memoir is a fascinating, and for some no doubt reassuring, reminder of this. 

No comments :

Post a Comment