Book review: 『逃げるな新人外科医』 by Yujiro Nakayama

Introduction

Title: 『逃げるな新人外科医』 (ねげるな しんじん げかい)
Author: Yujiro Nakayama (中山裕次郎)
Publisher: 幻冬舎文庫
405 pages

Yujiro Nakayama is a surgeon and author of medical fiction and nonfiction. This novel is the second volume in the series 泣くな研修医. There is a drama adaptation as well.

Review

I loved the first book of the series, 『泣くな研修医』, and I loved this one as well. I find that they are very similar, so if you liked one, you will certainly like the other too, though the first one may have been a little more impressive to me.

In this novel, our protagonist Ryuji has finished his internship and is now a surgeon, but he still has a lot of challenges to face. I found that the first novel pictured very well the awkward position of new doctors: even though they went through long studies to learn their job, it feels like they have to learn everything from scratch when they are faced with real patients.

In this second volume, Ryuji has gathered some experience, but he still makes mistakes and wonders if he can ever be a good doctor. His position is made even more delicate when he works with a new talented intern.

I find very interesting to see how Ryuji evolves, and I loved following his quest to gain confidence and become a good surgeon. I highly recommend to read the series in order for this reason.

All this being said, I also found that the scenes outside the hospital might be a bit weaker than the rest. In this novel, they mainly describe a romantic relationship, and they did not manage to make me feel involved or even interested. I found that the author is very good at picturing life and work inside the hospital, but the romantic scenes were not at the same level in my opinion.

I also found that the novel stays very minimalist in terms of characters. There are only two main patients in the whole novel and I find that the number of colleagues with whom Ryuji interacts is also limited. This makes for a quick and easy read, but this book is so good that I cannot help but wanting more: more stories, more patients, more cases, more colleagues, more challenging illnesses and fights for life.

Finally, I found that, similarly to the first novel, it would be great to know more about Ryuji’s family. The end of this novel was very brutal I found, and I wish it had given us more time to digest it.

In spite of these minor critics, I loved 『逃げるな新人外科医』, it reads extremely quickly, and it is a real page turner. I just wish that the story as a whole and the character of Ryuiji were a little deeper and more complex.

When it comes to the Japanese level, there is some medical vocabulary, but not as much as you would expect, and there are a lot of recurring words as well, so even if you are not familiar with medical words in Japanese, this should not be a problem. And if you intend to read the whole series (3 books) like me, the vocabulary you build up will be useful for the next books as well.