In Let Me Heal, prize-winning author Kenneth M.Ludmerer provides the first-ever account of the residency system for training doctors in the United States and, by tracing its evolution, explores how the residency system is of fundamental importance to the health of the nation.
In the making of a doctor, the residency system represents the dominant formative influence. It is during the three to nine years spent in residency that doctors come of professional age, acquiring the knowledge and skills of their specialty or subspecialty, forming a professional identify, and developing habitts, behaviors, attitudes, and values that last a professional lifetime. Let Me Heal examines all dimensions of the residency system: historical evolution, educational
principles, moral underpinnings, financing and administration, and cultural components. It focuses on the experience of being a resident, on how that experience has changed over time, and on how well the residency system is fulfilling its obligation to produce outstanding doctors. Most importantly, it analyzes the
mutual relationship beetween residency education and patient care in America. The book shows that the quality of residency training ultimately depends on the quality of patient care that residents observe, but that there is much that residency training can do to produce doctors who practice in a better, more affordable fashion.