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Internal Medicine


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About the Author

Terrence Holt is a writer and an internist specializing in geriatric medicine, teaching and practicing at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.


"[T]his book illuminates human fragility in tales both lyrical and soul-wrenching.... Holt dissects the medical experience in exquisite and restrained prose." -- Danielle Ofri - New York Times Book Review
"Each exquisitely crafted and evocative tale reveals not only the power of Holt's storytelling, but the stark realization that for doctors and patient alike, it's our bodies that 'remain the essential mystery we keep trying to solve.'" -- Publishers Weekly, starred Review
"Where do the brutal limitations of our mortal selves meet the grace of kindness? Where do simple observations of the progress of lives become a spare human poetry? Perhaps nowhere more so than in the practice of medicine, and in the finest of writing. These are the remarkable occurrences that fill and enrich Terrence Holt's elegant and heart-rending memoir." -- Dr. Vincent Lam, author of The Headmaster's Wager
"In Internal Medicine Terrence Holt has written a guided tour of a very particular hell, the 'Inferno' of medical training. This is a trenchant and devastating book but, miraculously, not a dispiriting one. Holt's beleaguered resident makes us gaze with him into abysses of every sort of physical, emotional, and spiritual pain, and yet what we feel with him, at the end of every story, is a resilient, exalting love of the world and the people doomed to suffer in it." -- Chris Adrian, author of The Children's Hospital
"In its undaunted vision of our plight and promise as a fallen race, its intricate rhythms of tenderness and pain, the torque of its knowing, Internal Medicine is an uncommon, lovely work of art. I feel myself expanded and enlarged by it. Holt's integrity and intelligence are gifts that alter how we view the wreckage and wonder of our lives." -- William Giraldi, author of Hold the Dark
"Whether or not you classify this collection of nine stories as nonfiction, they ring true in both details and spirit, starting with a doctor's evolution from the first night on call as an intern and ending with ethical questions that a physician ponders 40 months later, his residency complete... Dr. Holt never settles for easy answers, and the questions he poses-reflecting the frequent uncertainties of doctors and patients alike-will leave readers thinking long after the final page is turned." -- Alice Cary - BookPage
"Holt, who also holds a master's in fiction writing and a PhD in literature, is an excellent story teller... [T]he portrait Holt offers is artful, unfailingly human, and understandable." -- Dennis Rosen - Boston Globe
"Holt's new collection of stories, captures the feelings of a young doctor's three-year hospital residency-the powerlessness, the exhaustion, the chaotic and seemingly endless shifts, and above all, the intensity of being with people in moments of extremity-better than anything else I have ever read... Holt's unadorned prose and pitch-perfect dialogue contribute to the realism of these stories. At times they have the atmosphere of a hospital version of film noir, the narrator sounding as tough as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe in his effort to be efficient and unflappable... Anyone who's considering becoming a doctor, or anyone who wants to know what's at the core of a doctor's initiation, should read this book." -- Susan Okie - The Washington Post

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