This month's selection of the Mortality Book Club is the story of how a brilliant transplant surgeon confronts the fearful reality that every doctor must face: the inevitability of mortality. When author Pauline Chen began medical school, she dreamed of saving lives. What she could not predict was how much death would be a part of her work. Almost immediately, she found herself wrestling with medicine's most profound paradox--that a profession premised on caring for the ill also systematically depersonalizes dying.
Final Exam follows Chen over the course of her education and practice as she struggles to reconcile the lessons of her training with her innate sense of empathy and humanity.
Our Mortality Book Club reads and discusses books having to do with the important-but frequently avoided---issues we confront at the end of our lives. Regular book club members include hospital and hospice workers, but also the adult children of aging parents, or just anyone who wonders about the many questions--medical, emotional, social, and philosophical--raised by human mortality. The book club facilitator is Jasmin Tomlins, herself in training as a death doula.