Book review: 『泣くな研修医』 by Yujiro Nakayama


Title: 『泣くな研修医』 (なくなけんしゅうい)
Author: Yujiro NAKAYAMA (中山祐次郎)
Published by 幻冬舎文庫
301 pages.

Yujiro Nakayama is a surgeon who has written several books of medical nonfiction. 『泣くな研修医』 is his first novel. It is followed by 『逃げるな新人外科医』.

Quick rating: 🥰
This is a novel that is engrossing from beginning to end, lets us learn a lot about the medical world, has emotional parts and an extremely relatable protagonist.


This is one of my favourite books read in 2020. I found it impossible to put down and was engrossed in it from beginning to end.

We follow Ryuji Amenori during his first year as a medical intern in Tokyo. Coming from the countryside, Ryuji has to get used to living in the capital and, most of all, find his place in the hospital and learn his job.

Following Ryuji in his daily tasks was fascinating, we learn a lot about how a hospital works and how difficult the job is. I particularly liked the realistic and sincere tone of the novel, as it does not show a heroic vision of the medical team that would do anything to save lives. On the contrary, Ryuji’s internship brings its lot of harsh realities.

The books also shows the difficulty of diagnosis through several cases of patients who come with vague symptoms such as stomach ache. Experience, rather than intellectual knowledge is key, and Ryuji learns the hard way that the years he spent studying medicine have not made him a doctor yet. Even something as simple as drawing a blood sample covers him with sweat.

As a result, it is very easy to identify with Ryuji even if you are not in the medical field. Being inexperienced in your job, making mistakes, not knowing how to interact with your superiors… this is all very relatable.

The only weaker point in the novel was maybe the part involving Ryuji’s personal life. As long as the novel stays focused on the hospital and medical procedures, it is excellent and engrossing, but the character of Ryuji, his family and his traumatic past could have been more developed in my opinion.

This being said, the novel stays a fantastic read. It was fascinating to dive into medical procedures and to follow Ryuji as he gets familiar with the medical jargon. I was also emotionally involved in the fate of Ryuji’s patients and the happy or tragic outcome of their stories.

To conclude, I really loved this book and did not want it to end. I heartily recommend it, even if you are not usually a reader of medical fiction. I will definitely include 『逃げるな新人外科医』 in my next order of Japanese books.


  1. This story sounds so interesting! In recent years, medical dramas have become really popular. Shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Breaking Bad seem to be highly exaggerated, so I think it would be enlightening to read a more realistic story like this! I’m super interested!

    Liked by 1 person


    1. Yes, I agree! I watched Hospital Playlist, a Korean drama on Netflix, and the doctors are all working hard for the patient’s health and recovery. The drama is fine, but everything looks too perfect in it.

      If you like medical fiction, I am reading the manga ブラックジャックによろしく by 佐藤秀峰. The author made it accessible for free, so it is easy to find it online. The topic is similar to 泣くな研修医 but the reality it depicts is really scary!



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