Friday, November 8, 2013

The Devil Wears Scrubs by Freida McFadden: Interview and Review


Welcome Freida. Thanks for coming by. Does your significant other read your stuff?

No way.  He says if I sell 3,000 copies, he’ll read it.  Help me, people! 

Who are your books published with?

Self-published.  I’m a control freak and I don’t take rejection well. 

Do you use a pen name? If so, how did you come up with it? 

Freida is the name of the residency matching program.  It stands for… um, the R probably stands for Residency.  McFadden is a riff on my real last name.

What book are you reading now? 

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty.  Love it!

Beatles or Monkees? Why? 

Beatles!  How can you even compare?  White album… ’nuff said.

New York or LA? Why? 

New York, of course!  What kind of question is that?

Tell us about the absolute BEST fan letter you have received. 

Some stranger wrote a review basically saying they despised me and my blog and my personality and only read my writing because they hated me so much.  But that said, they really enjoyed The Devil Wears Scrubs.  So I could tell they weren’t just being nice.
Title:  The Devil Wears Scrubs
Author:  Freida McFadden
Published:  August 15th, 2013
Word Count:  60,000
Genre:  Humor
Recommended Age:  18+
Newly minted doctor Jane McGill is in hell.

Not literally, of course. But between her drug addict patients, sleepless nights on call, and battling wits with the sadistic yet charming Sexy Surgeon, Jane can’t imagine an afterlife much worse than her first month of medical internship at County Hospital.

And then there’s the devil herself: Jane’s senior resident Dr. Alyssa Morgan. When Alyssa becomes absolutely hell-bent on making her new interns pay tenfold for the deadly sin of incompetence, Jane starts to worry that she may not make it through the year with her soul or her sanity still intact.
This was a superbly entertaining book, and an exceptionally quick read for me.   The book is all about Jane’s first month as an intern at a large hospital.  The story captured my fancy and my imagination and had me howling out loud more than once.  Jane is just so darn likable I felt like pinching her check, patting her on the shoulder and being “her person”.  Long, exhausting hours are spent at the hospital where she reports directly to a resident physician who seems to get her only joy from her outrageous efforts to destroy Jane’s self-esteem.  Alyssa Morgan sets unrealistic goals – coming down hardest on Jane for not measuring up, more often than not. Alyssa seems to harbor some sort of deep, unresolved critical opinion of Jane, repeatedly forcing Jane to question herself and reevaluate her desire to complete the term.  Bad luck seems to follow Jane like a little, black cloud, even away from the hospital. Her assigned roommate is a decidedly odd duck with frightening anti-social tendencies, for example.  I had so much fun watching Jane contend with all the obstacles thrown her way and bounce back, more determined than ever to succeed, time and time again.  I highly recommend you discover this little jewel of a book for yourself.
This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.  The opinions stated are strictly my own.
Reviewed by Laurie-J

Freida McFadden is a physician who has finally finally finally come to the end of her training and is still intact to write about it.

This patient is the fattest man I’ve ever seen in my life. His name is George Leeman and he’s got fat folds on his belly that are so deep, I think I could stick my whole fist inside. Hell, I think I could stick my whole arm inside. I think I might be able to set up a tent in his belly button with an adjacent fireplace. The nurses had to get him an extra-large bed because the regular hospital beds were too small to fit his massive frame.
Before we got him in the bed, the nurses weighed Mr. Leeman on our bariatric scale. It’s a scale we use for people who are either really obese or are in a wheelchair. The scale has a platform that’s about the size of an elevator and you can wheel or waddle onto it. We got a weight for Mr. Leeman and used it to calculate his body mass index (BMI). The BMI is a calculation based on a patient’s weight and height, and tells us scientifically exactly how fat a patient is. 
For example, before I started medical school, my BMI was 24. That put me square in the middle range of “normal.” Now, less than one month into my intern year, my BMI is 26, which puts me just on the edge of “overweight,” kind of like the rest of the country. If I continue to eat primarily junk food, which is likely given how the last few weeks are going, I might get up to 30, which would make me officially “obese.”
Mr. Leeman’s BMI is about five trillion. 
Not really. But it’s high. He’s what we’d call “morbidly obese.” That’s a real medical diagnosis, you know. It’s not just something you say to make fun of the fat kid in the playground. 
I’ve been sitting here talking to Mr. Leeman for about thirty minutes, scribbling notes on a piece of paper about his heart disease, his medications, his other medical problems. I actually sort of like the guy. He’s got a big toothy smile and he calls me “honey.” I should probably be insulted by the “honey” thing since he’s supposed to call me “doctor” and he’s just being disrespectful and sexist, but at this hour of the morning, any kind words make me feel a little less awful. 
My senior resident Alyssa particularly dislikes obese patients. When the emergency room calls her about an obese patient, she sighs extra loudly. I’m not as bothered, and it’s not just because I automatically like anything that makes Alyssa unhappy. But I figure nobody gets to 600 pounds just by eating a bunch of bacon double cheeseburgers. People who are that big must have a disease, just like the patients with pancreatic cancer or multiple sclerosis. And I’m not going to throw stones. After all, I like my bacon double cheeseburgers too.
“Do you have any more questions, sweetheart?” Mr. Leeman asks me. I’ve now graduated to sweetheart. He’s making me feel all of twelve years old. 
I look down at my page of chicken scratch. I can make out exactly five words on the page. I’ve been a doctor less than a month and I already got the handwriting down pat. 
“No, I think that’ll be all,” I say. Then I add, “For now.” 
As a lowly medical intern, I must discuss every patient I see with my senior resident—and odds are twenty to one that Alyssa will send me back in here to ask something else I forgot. No matter how thorough a history I think I got, she always comes up with something. What’s the patient’s shoe size? What did he eat for dinner last night? What was the middle name of his best friend in third grade? Alyssa demands a very thorough history. 
I find Alyssa sitting in the resident lounge, which is her working area of choice when we’re on call. She’s wearing blue scrubs that make her eyes look bluer. Alyssa isn’t beautiful, although sometimes I wish she were because it would give me another reason to hate her. She’s on the cusp of beautiful, but she’s a little too skinny, a little too tall, her forehead a little too long. My mother always says that the forehead is what makes the face. I’m not sure I agree with that one, but Alyssa’s forehead definitely isn’t doing her any favors. 
Alyssa must be as sleep deprived as I am, but she doesn’t look it. Her straight brown hair is swept back into… I think it’s a chignon, although I truthfully don’t know what the hell a chignon is. Not one little hair is out of place. Her eyes aren’t bloodshot and don’t have little purple circles under them, like I know mine do without even looking in a mirror. And she smells good. Nothing in this hospital smells good, except somehow Alyssa does. 
“Hi,” I say timidly. 
Alyssa is flipping through her index cards. She carries around a pack of index cards on which she catalogues information about all our patients, and possibly one about me too. My biggest fantasy is stealing her index cards and watching her flounder. Then I get disgusted with myself that stealing index cards has now become my biggest fantasy. In any case, she doesn’t look up from her cards when she speaks to me.
“Are you ready?” she asks me. 
She’s not really asking me if I’m ready. She’s really saying to me, “You better be ready and not be wasting my time, girlie.” I wring my fists together and in the process, I crumple my notes slightly. Even though it’s three in the morning, I’ve got a little surge of adrenaline going. 
“I’m ready,” I say, with all the finality of someone pledging her marriage vows. 
Alyssa gestures at the couch across from her. I’m not allowed to actually sit next to her while we talk. I’m lucky she lets me sit at all. I can imagine her forcing me to stand at the doorway, maybe on one foot.

Before I can open my mouth, Alyssa says, “What took you so long?”

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