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Breaking and Mending: A doctor’s story of burnout and recovery

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An intimate, urgent account of doctor burnout and life as a psychiatrist from bestselling author Joanna Cannon "A few years ago, I found myself in A&E. I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn't eaten properly or slept well, or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains, listening to the rest of the/>I/>


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An intimate, urgent account of doctor burnout and life as a psychiatrist from bestselling author Joanna Cannon "A few years ago, I found myself in A&E. I had never felt so ill. I was mentally and physically broken. So fractured, I hadn't eaten properly or slept well, or even changed my expression for months. I sat in a cubicle, behind paper-thin curtains, listening to the rest of the/>I/>

30 review for Breaking and Mending: A doctor’s story of burnout and recovery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Carmel Hanes

    "I was told compassion is something to be desired and applauded. But compassion will eat away at your sanity. It will make you pull up in a lay-by on the journey home, because you can no longer see the road for the tears. It will creep through your mind in the darkness, and keep you from your sleep, and you will find that the cloth from which you are cut will begin to suffocate you." "This disapproval of emotional reaction exists in everyday life too. Certain corners of society maintain a particular/>"This "I was told compassion is something to be desired and applauded. But compassion will eat away at your sanity. It will make you pull up in a lay-by on the journey home, because you can no longer see the road for the tears. It will creep through your mind in the darkness, and keep you from your sleep, and you will find that the cloth from which you are cut will begin to suffocate you." "This disapproval of emotional reaction exists in everyday life too. Certain corners of society maintain a particular distaste for anyone displaying emotion, anyone who admits they are overwhelmed or unable to cope....we are expected to somehow absorb our feelings and our responses to life, to banish them far from the surface of who we seem to be, because their disappearance makes it so much easier for everyone else. In medicine, it's seen as almost mandatory." These are not words we often hear a doctor speak. Instead, we hear matter-of-fact diagnostic information in confident tones. We hear recommendations and statistics. We hear pronouncements about how much time we might have left, after disease carves away our essence. Occasionally, if we are lucky, a cold message might have kind eyes accompanying it with a quick pat on the hand. We tend to put doctors on pedestals, expecting competence and unemotional information. We expect them to be superhuman in conducting their business. We forget that beneath the stethoscope and white coats is a human being, subject to all the same frailties we experience. This book is an emotional autopsy on how wrong we can be, and how destructive the demands of medicine, and the medical community, can be on those who lead with compassion. It's an honest and raw assessment of how our nature can be so out of sync with our job that it buries us in doubt and pain. "...but while doctors are meant to lean back, far away from the abyss, it is a basic human reflex to reach across--to discover a connection, a common ground, to find something of yourself in other people. I reached across because it felt like the most natural thing to do." Reaching across is the most natural thing to do, but it comes at a cost. The human heart can only carry so much and then it begins to crumble. And what if you work (or live) in an environment that doesn't allow you to show you're crumbling? Cannon explores the isolation and alienation that results from walking among others who fail to notice, fail to see that you are drowning; or worse, see it and criticize instead of offering assistance and understanding. This book captures the phenomenon of "compassion fatigue", and would be of interest to anyone who has worked in a helping profession--nurses, doctors, counselors, teachers, medics, firefighters, police officers. People go into these professions with a desire to help others, but that responsibility, over time, can erode our well-being. Cannon found her way out of the darkness, but recognizes not everyone does. This story hit home, for I, too, have experienced that fatigue and know how utterly empty one can begin to feel. "Perhaps each of us is just searching for the right landscape and for our somewhere to belong, searching for the right place to tell our stories, in the hope that someone out there will listen and we will be understood." Amen. It's important to look more carefully at each other, and to reach across the abyss when we see someone falling behind.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bookread2day

    I didn't get to read The Trouble With Goats and Sheep or Three Things About Elsie, so I had no idea of anything about Joanna Cannon. By reading the paperback Breaking and Mending I found out the pressure that Joanna went through being a junior doctor. One thing that will stay with me about Joanna Cannon is how kind and caring she was when a patient died. If you buy this book do please make sure you have a box of tissues ready. I'm going to pass my book to my daughter who works in a doctors surge I didn't get to read The Trouble With Goats and Sheep or Three Things About Elsie, so I had no idea of anything about Joanna Cannon. By reading the paperback Breaking and Mending I found out the pressure that Joanna went through being a junior doctor. One thing that will stay with me about Joanna Cannon is how kind and caring she was when a patient died. If you buy this book do please make sure you have a box of tissues ready. I'm going to pass my book to my daughter who works in a doctors surgery, she knows full well that the NHS are under strain, and that is one of the topics that Joanna talks about in her book. I have to recommend Breaking and Mending. It's one of those books to keep forever. So when I let my daughter read this book, I will want it back.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Anni

    “I learned that returning a life to someone very often has nothing to do with restoring a heartbeat.” Joanna Cannon is a consummate storyteller, having had two best selling novels under her belt – and her gift for writing is amply demonstrated in this profoundly moving memoir of her training as a doctor and early medical career. She was chosen by the Medical School admissions professor as a ‘wild card’ candidate to study medicine – a mature student without the usual privile “I learned that returning a life to someone very often has nothing to do with restoring a heartbeat.” Joanna Cannon is a consummate storyteller, having had two best selling novels under her belt – and her gift for writing is amply demonstrated in this profoundly moving memoir of her training as a doctor and early medical career. She was chosen by the Medical School admissions professor as a ‘wild card’ candidate to study medicine – a mature student without the usual privileged educational background. We shadow her through all the rigours of medical school and her days and nights on the wards of NHS hospitals, sharing glimpses of the hidden world behind the scenes – and screens – of hospital wards which is usually concealed from patients, and discovering the secret code in the nurse's mysterious message ‘a package for Rose Cottage’. Eventually, Cannon’s caring, empathetic nature with patients made it difficult to maintain a professional distance. This factor, combined with unsympathetic senior doctors and the pressures of NHS bureaucracy, left her vulnerable to compassion fatigue and a physical and mental breakdown. However, her special talent for close observation and listening to the patients’ stories, which was discouraged on the overworked and understaffed NHS wards, became an invaluable skill when she finally achieved her ambition of working with psychiatric patients. Adam Kay Covers much of the same ground in his humorous medical memoir ‘This is Going to Hurt’ – the dysfunctional administration of a shamefully underfunded national health care system which fails to take care of the health of its own staff. Both pay tribute to the unsung heroes - the doctors and nurses who give their utmost in making patients lives bearable in traumatic circumstances. I would greatly recommend both of these memoirs to everyone who has had occasion to use the National Health Service (which must be virtually all living in the UK) and especially to those idealists thinking of practising medicine.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sandra Armor

    Just finished the audiobook of #BreakingandMending read by the author, @JoannaCannon. An intensely moving memoir. I sobbed at several of the patient stories. It’s heartbreaking, but reinforces how much we owe to all those who care for us when we cannot. A must read or listen.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I read the first 30 pages and skimmed another 12. Cannon left school at 15 and came to medicine late, starting her training in her 30s. Her father had died not long before then, and she initially had trouble with dissections because it reminded her of his dead body, the last she’d seen previously. A compassionate registrar got her involved in hospital autopsies so she could become used to being around corpses. I’ve read so many doctors’ memoirs now, and this one doesn’t really cut the I read the first 30 pages and skimmed another 12. Cannon left school at 15 and came to medicine late, starting her training in her 30s. Her father had died not long before then, and she initially had trouble with dissections because it reminded her of his dead body, the last she’d seen previously. A compassionate registrar got her involved in hospital autopsies so she could become used to being around corpses. I’ve read so many doctors’ memoirs now, and this one doesn’t really cut the mustard: the writing is undistinguished and the tone as sentimental as I’ve come to expect from her novels. I should have known after The Trouble with Goats and Sheep that there was no point in reading more by Cannon, but I thought the subject matter would be enough to make it stand out for me. Lines I liked: “I am very often asked about the similarities between being a doctor and being an author, and the answer is very simple. Writing always rests on a narrative, on hearing a voice, and it’s exactly the same for medicine”.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emma

    I finished the last sentence of ‘Breaking & Mending’ and sat in silence, once again in complete and utter awe of Joanna Cannon. I have been a huge fan ever since I read an early proof copy of ‘The Trouble With Goats and Sheep’. Joanna Cannon’s skill with words always amazes me. She is an author who has that rare ability of conveying so many things in just one five word sentence. As someone who always waffles and scrambles around for the right words, I am always amazed by those people who sel I finished the last sentence of ‘Breaking & Mending’ and sat in silence, once again in complete and utter awe of Joanna Cannon. I have been a huge fan ever since I read an early proof copy of ‘The Trouble With Goats and Sheep’. Joanna Cannon’s skill with words always amazes me. She is an author who has that rare ability of conveying so many things in just one five word sentence. As someone who always waffles and scrambles around for the right words, I am always amazed by those people who select the perfect words with ease. Though I’m sure it doesn’t always feel easy at the time! Joanna Cannon came to medicine in her thirties with the ambition of specialising in psychiatry, and she was the ‘wild card’ of her medical school year. A wild card she may have been, but a more perfect human to go into a career healing people there couldn’t have been. This deeply moving memoir perfectly illustrates her compassion for her patients, her endless ability to listen to them, her pain when the patients who have become friends pass away and her honesty about how bone crushingly desperate and broken many, many junior doctors become. But this isn’t a book just about doctors, it is also about the patients. Every single one mentioned, and I’m sure there are many more that haven’t, have been carried around in Joanna Cannon’s heart and thoughts for many many years. I found myself getting choked up many a time, especially towards the end of the book where we hear about the compassion patients have for each other. They are all suffering unimaginable pain yet they can still hold a hand out to help someone. That is something that will stay with me and it is a lesson that people should hold with them everyday. ‘Breaking & Mending’ moved me to tears more than once. The stories that are shared with us are emotional, raw, heartbreaking but they are also life changing, full of hope and inspiration. These stories will make you think differently about the doctors you see walking the hospital corridors but also about the people you see everyday. You don’t know what battles people are fighting, a little kindness costs nothing. If I was a person that used a highlighter whilst reading, my entire copy would be a glowing florescent yellow now! But I can’t do that to a book, instead pretty much every single page has a tiny post-it note to show the sections that really touched my soul. Every section touched my soul! The writing is just phenomenal, as I’ve already mentioned, there are single sentences that convey so much in so few words. There are so many lines that are quote-worthy! I read this book in one greedy sitting, but I will return to it because I need to bask in it’s glory just a little bit more. Thank you Joanna Cannon for writing this book. This wonderful wonderful book. It was an absolute pleasure and honour to read it and it will stay in my heart forever. And to everyone reading this review, I implore you, read the book!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jules

    As a paramedic, this book massively resonated with me, especially in relation to dealing with suicide, and the feelings of inadequacy. Jo is brilliant at writing about people and their emotions & I felt my eyes filling with tears at several points. I do think I found it more emotional because I can relate to it, but I certainly recommend a read. It’s a book that will stay with me for a very, very long time.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Callum McLaughlin

    This anecdotal memoir focusses on Cannon’s time spent as a junior doctor, working on both A&E and psychiatric wards. Its primary aim is to humanise the overworked and underappreciated staff who keep the NHS afloat in times of unrest and austerity, and to explore the ethical grey area between maintaining professional protocol and extending the hand of human kindness. From heart-breakingly tender interactions with patients, to moments of gut-punch trauma, she highlights the physical and emotio This anecdotal memoir focusses on Cannon’s time spent as a junior doctor, working on both A&E and psychiatric wards. Its primary aim is to humanise the overworked and underappreciated staff who keep the NHS afloat in times of unrest and austerity, and to explore the ethical grey area between maintaining professional protocol and extending the hand of human kindness. From heart-breakingly tender interactions with patients, to moments of gut-punch trauma, she highlights the physical and emotional burnout that comes with the job. By doing so, she shows us why it’s imperative we stop seeing health workers as miraculous, indomitable heroes, and start treating them like the fallible human beings they are, by putting better support systems in place. Cannon’s writing style is gentle and approachable. Though she doesn’t shy away from how devastating life as a doctor (and a patient) can be, she never loses the spark of hope that things can get better. She argues that transparency and storytelling are our best means of encouraging the kind of open dialogue that will birth positive change. Here, she leads by example.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Honestmamreader

    When Profile Books gifted me the copy of Breaking and Mending by Dr Joanna Cannon I was very grateful and excited to read it. Not only because it had an interesting premise but because Dr Joanna Cannon is the author of one of my favourite books that I've read this year "Three Things About Elsie" and I couldn't wait to delve into her memoir of being a junior doctor. This book is definitely not a fluffy, rose-tinted look at junior doctors. This is a memoir filled with gritty tales and insightful s When Profile Books gifted me the copy of Breaking and Mending by Dr Joanna Cannon I was very grateful and excited to read it. Not only because it had an interesting premise but because Dr Joanna Cannon is the author of one of my favourite books that I've read this year "Three Things About Elsie" and I couldn't wait to delve into her memoir of being a junior doctor. This book is definitely not a fluffy, rose-tinted look at junior doctors. This is a memoir filled with gritty tales and insightful stories of what a junior doctor goes through to get were they are. It made me respect and appreciate the workers of the NHS a lot more. This was a more in-depth and personal account from someone who has had first hand experience at it. It humanises the doctors that we take for granted, they are not robots who mend and heal us. They are like us, human with feelings and emotions. This is a book that everyone needs to buy and read. Take a moment in your life to make sense of those that save lives.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ellie (bookmadbarlow)

    A beautifully written and moving memoir about the authors experiences of being a Junior Doctor. I felt for her as she described her experiences and cried more than once, having to put the book down as it all felt so raw. Joanna Cannon has put her heart and soul into this book and I couldn't help be moved by that. I know its a good book when I have to get the tabs out. There was nothing political or jarring just a gentle reminder to be kinder to people, and to try to understand what oth A beautifully written and moving memoir about the authors experiences of being a Junior Doctor. I felt for her as she described her experiences and cried more than once, having to put the book down as it all felt so raw. Joanna Cannon has put her heart and soul into this book and I couldn't help be moved by that. I know its a good book when I have to get the tabs out. There was nothing political or jarring just a gentle reminder to be kinder to people, and to try to understand what others are going through. I will be pushing this book onto everyone. My thanks to the publisher for the gifted copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    A slim but profound volume. We see the joys and despair of practising medicine in the NHS today and are given a reminder of how to be human

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne

    I have followed Joanna Cannon's writing journey for a long time now. I used to read her blog and was always touched by her ability to portray such emotion, and such compassion through her writing. I think most people know her story; she wrote her first novel during her breaks when she was working as a psychiatrist in a busy NHS hospital. That book was The Trouble with Goats and Sheep; one of my favourite books of recent years. Her second novel; Three Things About Elsie was another huge succ I have followed Joanna Cannon's writing journey for a long time now. I used to read her blog and was always touched by her ability to portray such emotion, and such compassion through her writing. I think most people know her story; she wrote her first novel during her breaks when she was working as a psychiatrist in a busy NHS hospital. That book was The Trouble with Goats and Sheep; one of my favourite books of recent years. Her second novel; Three Things About Elsie was another huge success. Whilst I do know a lot of Joanna's back story, and have been lucky enough to meet her on more than one occasion, I was excited to learn that she was publishing this memoir, about her time as a junior doctor. Breaking and Mending is not a long book. It's just 166 pages in total, but every single word is perfect. There were times when I had to put the book aside and gather my thoughts, and reign in my emotions. It is one of the most beautifully written books that I've ever had the pleasure to read. Joanna's experiences as a junior doctor are not unique to her. I'm positive that most doctors would read this book and nod their heads in recognition. I've worked in NHS related jobs for many years and have seen the effects of the unrelenting work load on the professionals that I sit alongside. However, I doubt that there are many other doctors who could put their feelings into words such as these. Joanna Cannon's ability to convey every feeling, every emotion and every single moment of hope, desperation and frustration is utterly compelling and so powerfully done. Joanna Cannon was an 'older' medical student; deciding to undertake her medical training much later in life than most people. She was given a 'wild card' by the admitting Consultant; given a place at medical school despite her doubts about what she was doing. We follow her through her journey as a brand new student; as she undertakes placements; as she works her first shift as the only doctor on duty. Writing with honesty and clarity, and pulling no punches, this author clearly details the immense pressure that our dedicated and treasured medical staff come under. It is a both shocking, and thought-provoking and it is my hope that it conveys to all readers the incredible dedication that drives most doctors who carry on their work despite often horrendous conditions and pressures. As with this author's fiction, she uses her words to create the most wonderful imagery, this passage from the book particularly moved me: 'There are some rooms in a hospital which are designed for delivering bad news or made especially for people to sit in whilst they wait to receive it ............ ............ Good news is allowed to wander around freely and stretch its legs. It's allowed to travel through cubicle curtains and make its way around the ward and be heard by anyone who might happen to walk by. It's bad news that needs to be contained. Trapped. Kept tightly enclosed in a small room with four easy chairs and a coffee table, just in case it should manage to escape and be heard forever.' Painfully honest, harrowing, heart-breaking and so so human. Breaking and Mending is a book that must be read by everyone who ever has any contact with our NHS.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Claire O'Sullivan

    4.5 stars . Very readable, but it made me sad at how hard our Drs work and how poorly they are treat .

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jackie Law

    “medicine is all about people, and people are made out of stories” Why would anyone wish to become a doctor? It is a question most potential students applying to medical school will be asked. Perhaps they wish to save lives, to make a difference. Perhaps they come from a family of medics and it has always been expected of them. It costs around a quarter of a million pounds to train a doctor in the UK, a significant proportion of which must now be borne by the student, often in the for “medicine is all about people, and people are made out of stories” Why would anyone wish to become a doctor? It is a question most potential students applying to medical school will be asked. Perhaps they wish to save lives, to make a difference. Perhaps they come from a family of medics and it has always been expected of them. It costs around a quarter of a million pounds to train a doctor in the UK, a significant proportion of which must now be borne by the student, often in the form of debt. The course is one of the most demanding offered by universities. And yet for every place available, four people who expect to achieve the necessary exam results will apply. It is and remains a competitive career choice. Joanna Cannon entered medical school in her thirties. She was accepted by the admissions panel as a wild card. Her motivation throughout the long years of training was to get into psychiatry. Breaking and Mending is the story of her experiences on hospital wards as a student and then Junior Doctor. It is a sobering indictment of how medical professionals – the people entrusted with individuals’ myriad and complex health issues – are treated by the NHS and certain of its senior employees. “Stories bind us together, stories unite us, and we tell our stories in the hope that someone out there will listen, and we will be understood.” Cannon’s story is told in snapshots that she describes as her Kodak moments. Each chapter details an encounter with a patient or colleague, the memory of which she carries with her. The burden of her emotional responses over time became a weight that she struggled to bear. The long and busy shifts a doctor is required to work took their toll and she found it ever more difficult to be the type of doctor she had worked so hard to become. Written with grace and candour the descriptions and reflections are a balance between compassion, valuable learning and simmering anger. There is much for the reader to contemplate and absorb. Doctors work to ease suffering and delay death under exhausting conditions. Given the lack of care they themselves receive it is little wonder that too many of them face burn out. Yet this is not a polemic. It is a very personal story that cuts to the heart of issues faced by a vital profession dealing daily with human suffering. Doctors must somehow find a way to inure themselves while showing others care and understanding. Their role goes beyond prescribing and administering appropriate clinical treatment. Good doctors learn to listen to the stories they are told by patients and to find the right words in response. They also benefit when colleagues notice and find time to listen to them. Cannon is a skilled storyteller and this is a poignant and thought-provoking medical memoir. It highlights the importance of talking about topics that make many uncomfortable such as death and mental illness. It underscores the stigma doctors face if they admit they are struggling to cope with the conditions under which they are required to work.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A more thoughtful, kind and considerably less whiny, misogynistic, disingenuous and funny book about the bloody awfulness of being a junior (ie sub consultant) doctor than Adam Kay's big hit. He made a lot of very important points but ultimately, on the basis of his writing, he is not a loss to obstetrics (even discounting the precipitating sequelae to a tragic event). But Joanna Cannon is a loss to psychiatry and this book shows why. Although the book felt a wee bit sewn together it was an abso A more thoughtful, kind and considerably less whiny, misogynistic, disingenuous and funny book about the bloody awfulness of being a junior (ie sub consultant) doctor than Adam Kay's big hit. He made a lot of very important points but ultimately, on the basis of his writing, he is not a loss to obstetrics (even discounting the precipitating sequelae to a tragic event). But Joanna Cannon is a loss to psychiatry and this book shows why. Although the book felt a wee bit sewn together it was an absolutely compelling read which I did not put down again until I had read the whole thing. She was no conveyor belt medical student (told she was someone's 'wild card' as a mature student) and seems to have avoided that whole hothouse thing... although I do wonder about the impact of her long commute and total detachment from a sense of being a university student. A lot of thinking time which may not have been helpful. I wondered too about the timing... did she have her university place before her father died, was he dying whilst she sat A levels? Coming to terms with the dissection cadavers at the beginning of her studies was a challenge for her, and brings an example of real care from other medics, not as a one off but an ongoing commitment as against the multiple unkindnesses dished out as life as a new doctor went on (and in my view some questionable ways to 'correct') I was so glad to read of times she'd told people where to get off. She writes how before she was at last able to focus fully on psychiatry she had been told she spent too much time talking to patients. I'd've liked more about those incidents where people said that. Her description of forcible medication definitely hit home for me as a fellow witness, the special awfulness of non-resistance. Many of the stories are told against herself - not in a "Haha, what I am like?" fashion but with an element of real shame (and learning) I am not entirely sure I agree with all her points, but maybe they are true for doctors in a way I believe they should not be so for nurses who have a different role (interesting that she seems never to have thought of being a psychiatric nurse, I wonder why not?) But it is all so well written and worth thinking about, especially the harm that can be done with well intentioned words (and deeds) - the unhelpfulness of "Sorry" was immediately backed up by a friend who is dealing with bad medical news. There must surely be another whole book in her horrendous personal medical experience, should she be able to bear it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Clare

    “Words are never, ever, just words.” Joanna Cannon writes this in the context of giving a diagnosis but it could equally apply to her writing. There is no spare word in this book, no word which doesn’t carry the reader forward on their journey as they join her on a retrospective reflection on her life as a medical student and junior doctor. This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in a long time. Dr Cannon lays herself as bare as the cadaver that accompanied her thr “Words are never, ever, just words.” Joanna Cannon writes this in the context of giving a diagnosis but it could equally apply to her writing. There is no spare word in this book, no word which doesn’t carry the reader forward on their journey as they join her on a retrospective reflection on her life as a medical student and junior doctor. This is one of the most thought-provoking books I have read in a long time. Dr Cannon lays herself as bare as the cadaver that accompanied her through medical school, exposing her own vulnerability that readers might learn the brutal reality of her chosen profession for someone who is clearly so innately compassionate and empathetic. As a former nurse, I found this to be quite a painful read at times as it triggered memories of the medical students I encountered who didn’t have the wherewithal to complete their studies because they were too caring of their patients but couldn’t apply that same compassion to themselves – how they would have benefitted from the wise words in this slim volume. Although it makes for harrowing reading at times, it is ultimately a compulsive and emphatically positive book and should be compulsory reading for every medical and nursing student – or anyone considering those paths. I would also recommend the book to patients (that’s most of us at some time!) as it takes any apparent glamour out of a doctor’s job and replaces it with compassionate reality in a very accessible and humane form. “I strongly believe in the power of words, to heal and mend,” Cannon writes, and in this book she does exactly that, transferring her skills from the wards to her words.

  17. 4 out of 5

    cenbookfairy_Tylwyth Teg y Llyfr.

    Breaking & Mending by Joanne Cannon published by @profile.books Out on 26th September 2019. This is a relatively short book only 176 pages long- but it is packed with so much detail. 👩🏻⚕ Joanne gives us an in depth, intimate, raw, real, straight to the point yet shows compassion about her life as a mature medical student and junior doctor. 👩🏻⚕ It is a very thought provoking book and the reality of the lives as a junior doctor in an A&E environment. 👩🏻⚕ I really d Breaking & Mending by Joanne Cannon published by @profile.books Out on 26th September 2019. This is a relatively short book only 176 pages long- but it is packed with so much detail. 👩🏻‍⚕️ Joanne gives us an in depth, intimate, raw, real, straight to the point yet shows compassion about her life as a mature medical student and junior doctor. 👩🏻‍⚕️ It is a very thought provoking book and the reality of the lives as a junior doctor in an A&E environment. 👩🏻‍⚕️ I really did feel sorry for her and others as they were forever chasing their tails. They were never ever ahead in the work- they appeared to always play catch up. It certainly opened my eyes. 👩🏻‍⚕️ This was a truly eye opening read. 👩🏻‍⚕️ Put the date in your diaries- this is out on 26th September. #breakingandmending #joannecannon #bookstagram #bookstagramcommunity #feedyourread #readingtime📖 #bookcommunity #bookaddicts #booknerd #bookobsessed #bloggersofinstagram #reviewer #bookreviewer #readerofig #lovetoread📚 #fortheloveofreading❤️📚

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tracey Gemmell

    Joanna Cannon turns her journey through medical school to becoming a psychiatrist into a must-read book. She explores so well the fear of failure, the caring for others at the expense of oneself, and the toll it takes to be on the frontlines of healthcare. Having worked in the hospital setting myself as a speech-language pathologist, I understand the stresses of too many patients, too little time and a sense that you are never able to live up to the expectations you set for yourself when you sta Joanna Cannon turns her journey through medical school to becoming a psychiatrist into a must-read book. She explores so well the fear of failure, the caring for others at the expense of oneself, and the toll it takes to be on the frontlines of healthcare. Having worked in the hospital setting myself as a speech-language pathologist, I understand the stresses of too many patients, too little time and a sense that you are never able to live up to the expectations you set for yourself when you started in the profession. Until reading Breaking and Mending, I could only imagine how those traumas were magnified by the life and death decisions a junior doctor has to make. Now I know how much I owe these dedicated professionals. This book will reassure anyone in the medical setting they are not alone in their struggles. But it's also a message to the patient that those they turn to in their worst moments are humans. They are to be appreciated and cared for in order for the system to work. Recommended reading for those on either end of the stethoscope.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Bates

    I started by wondering a bit about this. Some of the presentation on the page is a bit odd. As a patient I thought I might on occasion have a slightly different perspective or even conclusion. The first chapter or so is quite challenging for those who perhaps have depressive friends and I did wonder who I might recommend it too. But thinking and talking about it made me realise that there were a couple of extraordinary attributes to this book. The descriptions and language are stunning. The othe I started by wondering a bit about this. Some of the presentation on the page is a bit odd. As a patient I thought I might on occasion have a slightly different perspective or even conclusion. The first chapter or so is quite challenging for those who perhaps have depressive friends and I did wonder who I might recommend it too. But thinking and talking about it made me realise that there were a couple of extraordinary attributes to this book. The descriptions and language are stunning. The other attribute was the generosity of Dr Cannon’s view of those around her: those who helped her both colleagues and patients. It’s thought provoking and a very good challenge.

  20. 5 out of 5

    graham morgan

    Brilliant A lovely deeply moving book to read. It restores my faith in people. Brought an extra copy to give to my brother and his wife who are a psychiatrist and a gp. Thought it might resonate with them. Having a diagnosis of schizophrenia myself it was lovely to see a doctor who do clearly loved her job and the people she worked with. Most struck by the description of sitting in the death of someone, resonated so much with my recent experience of my partner's father. Thank you

  21. 4 out of 5

    tisasday

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. For a book so slight, small and under 160 pages, it packs a great punch. It is not for the lighthearted, especially for those who are in the cusp of entering the medical profession. Everything will read as a terrifying foreboding omen that confirms every bit of suspicion and insecurity you might have had prior to entering the field characterised by the incessant dealing with life and death day in and day out. Yet it is that which makes the meaning of the work so worthwhile and fulfilling.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sally Boocock

    A beautifully written and profound telling of Joanna's life as a junior doctor. It is compassionate, powerful and extremely moving. Such a poignant and significant account of life in the NHS and how doctors and nurses are treated. Thank you Joanna for sharing your story . A must read for everyone.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kimberley

    This book was exactly what I needed to read. Full of compassion and stories that make you realise how fragile life can be, and makes you want to grasp on to it that bit tighter. It was an emotional and also enlightening read and I really enjoyed reading Jo's story into becoming a Dr. I was rooting for her the whole time and I'm so glad she found her place in the medical profession.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Danielle rayner

    Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The detail of each case was so detailed I felt every emotion the author did and it really pulled at the heart strings. It’s amazing the Will power and determination that junior doctors have and are willing to do to care for the nhs. I do agree mental health needs more supports and funding. Definitely recommend this book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Simone Sinna

    I was lucky enough to get a prepublication copy. In my other life I am both author(not as successful as this one!) and psychiatrist so this book spoke directly to me. Cannon writes openly and poignantly about what it is to be a doctor - and to be human. A must read for every medical student and would be medical student.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Miss N O'Shea

    Honest, raw and captivating Joanna’s writing engages and draws in the readers this memoir shows the reality of the NHS in a frank, emotional and human way.’ My best read of 2019, full of compassion and insight.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Liz Owen

    Beautifully and sensitively written, this book is a great read and a thought provoking reflection on the way in which doctors are trained and the pressure they are under. A very good and absorbing book. Loved it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sue Carmichael

    Honest and thought provoking Joanna cannon writes in such a considered and compassionate way. There is some difficult and challenging content to consider, but the author wants to bring out the best of humanity in us all

  29. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    I’ve completed this book in 24 hours, I couldn’t put it down. The book is a recollection of Joanna Cannon’s experiences as a junior doctor. It’s beautiful and mesmerising. Kindness and humanity shine from these pages.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emma Dargue

    Brilliant book in the vain of Adam Kay's This Is Going to Hurt. Moving and confronting some of the real issues facing doctors and junior doctors in particular whilst also celebrating the small victories that medical staff of the NHS have. I highly recommend reading this book.

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