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Reviewed by Soumya Sreehari for Readers' Favorite
We generally view doctors as pictures of health. Even though it is illogical, any sign of illness in a doctor takes us by surprise. Dr. Kamal Malaker’s book – It is 7 am In the Cardiac Ward - is a rare narrative of a doctor’s experience as a patient. The narrative starts from the day Dr. Malaker experiences his first symptoms of heart trouble and goes through a journey of 10 years. This journey includes the diagnosis, the multiple bypass surgeries, and the post-operative recovery over a 10-year period. Dr. Malaker, an oncologist, writes a day-by-day account of his hospital stay, and a detailed story of his recovery period. The journal-like narrative is instructive of the social and psychological experiences that form an integral part of recovery.
It is 7 am In the Cardiac Ward is Dr. Kamal Malaker’s brave attempt in recording his experience of being a patient of heart surgery. A globe-trotting oncologist with a thriving medical practice, Dr. Malaker is hit by a surprising diagnosis when he least expects it. As he accepts the inevitable, he gets the rare opportunity to experience life as a patient. Before, during, and after the surgery, the doctor expresses his brave spirit, empathy towards his patients, and gratitude for life. Dr. Malaker’s narrative is reflective, poignant, and filled with humor and humanity. The experience of his struggle to find a job after surgery is especially revealing. The effect of one person’s hospitalization on the entire family is certainly universal. I found the story uplifting and I recommend it in the same spirit.