Letter to a Young Female Physician, Suzanne Koven
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Letter to a Young Female Physician
Notes from a Medical Life

Author: Suzanne Koven

Narrator: Suzanne Koven

Unabridged: 8 hr 49 min

Format: Digital Audiobook Download

Publisher: HighBridge

Published: 09/07/2021


In 2017, Dr. Suzanne Koven published an essay describing the challenges faced by female physicians, including her own personal struggle with 'imposter syndrome'-a long-held secret belief that she was not smart enough or good enough to be a 'real' doctor. Accessed by thousands of readers around the world, Koven's 'Letter to a Young Female Physician' has evolved into a deeply felt reflection on her career in medicine. Koven tells candid and illuminating stories about her pregnancy during a grueling residency in the AIDS era; the illnesses of her child and aging parents during which her roles as a doctor, mother, and daughter converged, and sometimes collided; the sexism, pay inequity, and harassment that women in medicine encounter; and the twilight of her career during the COVID-19 pandemic. As she traces the arc of her life, Koven finds inspiration in literature and faces the near-universal challenges of burnout, body image, and balancing work with marriage and parenthood. Letter to a Young Female Physician reveals a woman forging her authentic identity in a modern landscape that is as overwhelming and confusing as it is exhilarating in its possibilities. Koven offers an indelible account, by turns humorous and profound, that sheds light on our desire to find meaning, and on a way to be our own imperfect selves in the world. '[Koven] is rueful and delightful and keeps on building a careening and fascinating life . . . [Letter to a Young Female Physician] is a warm and wry epistle, the endless and near-perfect email you wish your mother, your mentor and your therapist would sit down and type out together.' -Laura Kolbe, Wall Street Journal '[These] phenomenal essays . . . are full of acuity and generosity . . . [Koven's] writing is full of humor, candor, by turns (and often simultaneously) beautiful and heartbreaking shards of narrative, about her own life and the lives of her patients and colleagues. She's also got a killer sense of humor and a fantastic eye for detail.' -Leslie Jamison, LitHub 'Suzanne Koven's Letter to a Young Female Physician is so wise, beautifully written, tender, and full of heart that it should be required reading for every person-young, female, physician, or otherwise. This is a transporting memoir, and an instructive one.' -Dani Shapiro, author of Inheritance