The character Dr. Peters is a composite, based on several actual persons
"A Signet book."
First word -- Day 15: General surgery -- Day 172: Emergency room -- Day 307: General surgery: Private teaching service -- Day 365: Leaving -- Last word
A young man confronts the problems and challenges of learning to be a doctor during the first year of his internship in Hawaii, in a compelling, inside look at the world of American medicine. The nurse's voice on the phone is desperate, but young Dr. Peters, in his first weeks of internship, is only bone tired and a little afraid. He has forgotten when he last slept. Yet he knows that in the coming hours he will have to make life or death decisions regarding patients, assist contemptuous surgeons in the operating room, deal with nurses who may know more than he does, cope with worried relatives and friends of the injured and ill, and pretend at all times to be what he has not yet become a fully qualified doctor. This book is about what happens to a young intern as he goes through the year that promises to make him into a doctor, and threatens to destroy him as a human being