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Breaking and Mending: A junior doctor s stories of compassion and burnout

Joanna Cannon

4 Reviews

Rated 0


The unforgettable memoir from the bestselling author of The Trouble with Goats and Sheep and Three Things About Elsie

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 and I shook with the effort of not crying. I was an inch away from defeat... but I knew I had to carry on. Because I wasn't the patient. I was the doctor.

No sleep, skeleton support, a head full of anatomy lectures and idealism: this is life for our junior doctors in their first few years on the wards. Here, Joanna Cannon tells her own story in visceral, heart-rending snapshots.

We walk with her, facing extraordinary and daunting moments and meeting her patients: from attending her first post-mortem, learning the overwhelming power of a well or badly chosen word, sitting with a young woman in her final hours, to small sustaining acts of kindness and connection. These moments teach her that emotional care can be just as critical as restoring a heartbeat - and eventually lead her to her true home in

Deeply moving, warm, compassionate and beautifully written, Breaking & Mending shows us why we need to better care for mental health - and for those who care for us.

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Praise for Breaking and Mending: A junior doctor s stories of compassion and burnout

  • Praise for The Trouble with Goats and Sheep: - :

  • Full of humour and careful depictions of everyday suffering, this is not so much a mystery novel as an investigation into the wealth of secrets and heartbreak that even the most commonplace street can hold'' - Guardian

  • 'A quirky, moving and beautifully written tale of suburban life in 1970s Britain...a delight from start to finish'

  • An utter delight. Perceptive, funny, dark, moving...I loved it'

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