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Reviewed by Tina Gibbons for Readers' Favorite
In Burning the Short White Coat: A Story of Becoming a Woman Doctor by Eve Shvidler M.D., the main character, Elle Gallagher, is a a first-year medical student who moves to Missouri to begin the long journey. She begins her career with confidence in her choice, but still finds the dating world to be tricky since she broke up with a long term boyfriend when she moved. She makes friends quickly with Kaity in the lab, and Jainey, a law student. The story travels through the trials and tribulations of romance and the torturous regimen of med school. It is a story of maintaining friendships and balancing a personal life, and trying to find love while becoming a female doctor. Elle's short white coat becomes a symbol of that experience and those years of her life.
Although it was a fiction story, Eve Shvidler's knowledge lent truth and credibility and kept my interest. The setting felt real, and the pace was fast. Elle's struggles to find love were sometimes comical and sometimes heart breaking. Often I just wanted to slap her and ask her what was wrong with her, as I'm sure could be the case when any young person is involved. Matters of self esteem and insecurities stood in the way of what she wanted and needed, and I got to watch as her character grew and developed. The medical side was intriguing, and I found the book similar to watching shows such as Grey's Anatomy. The characters found it difficult to stay rooted in the outside world, but the bonds formed between them were incredibly strong. At points in the book, the 'real' side of things made me cry. There are things that can't be changed, and sometimes medicine can't fix you. The struggle to remain caring and compassionate, and still maintain enough professional distance to be able to do your job as a doctor was one of the best parts of this book. I enjoyed Burning the Short White Coat very much.