Thursday, April 16, 2009

Match Day for New Doctors, the book

When I blogged last month about Match Day for new doctors, I mentioned Brian Eule's new book, Match Day: One Day and One Dramatic Year in the Lives of Three New Doctors. A copy of the book arrived in my mailbox last week, with a note from the author, who had interviewed me while writing it.

I've noticed before that good science writers tend to write about scientists at least as much as they write about science. But I guess I am not in the habit of anthropomorphizing markets, since I was nevertheless surprised to read the following characterization of the market for new medical residents.

"If you wanted to put a face on this faceless machine, it would have a thick black beard, beginning to go gray. It would have a receding hairline. It would wear glasses, squint when smiling, and present a big forehead adding to its contemplative appearance. It would look, in this case, much like an economist at Harvard University named Alvin Roth."

Fortunately, most of the story is about the three couples he follows through the resident match and their first year of residency. I didn't reach a point at which I could put the book down for the first time until after the first hundred pages, since the story carried me along, and I wanted to find out where they matched. Way to go, Brian.

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