Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures welcomes readers into a world where the most mundane events can quickly become life or death. By following four young medical students and physicians — Ming, Fitz, Sri and Chen — this debut collection from Vincent Lam is a riveting, eye-opening account of what it means to be a doctor. Deftly navigating his way through 12 interwoven short stories, the author explores the characters' relationships with each other, their patients, and their careers. Lam draws on his own experience as an emergency room physician and shares an insider's perspective on the fears, frustrations, and responsibilities linked with one of society's most highly regarded occupations. (From Anchor Canada)
Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures won the 2006 Scotiabank Giller Prize.
HOW TO GET INTO MEDICAL SCHOOL, PART I
Desperate stragglers arrived late for the molecular biology final examination, their feet wet from tramping through snowbanks and their faces damp from running. Some still wore coats, and rummaged in the pockets for pens. Entering the exam hall, a borrowed gymnasium, from the whipping chaos of the snowstorm was to be faced with a void. Eyeglasses fogged, xenon lamps burned their blue-tinged light, and the air was calm with its perpetual fragrance of old paint. The lamps buzzed, and their constant static was like a sheet pulled out from under the snowstorm, though low enough that the noise vanished quickly. Proctors led latecomers to vacant seats among the hundreds of desks, each evenly spaced at the University of Ottawa's minimum requisite distance.
The invigilators allowed them to sit the exam but, toward the end of the allotted period, ignored their pleas for extra time on account of the storm. Ming, who had finished early, centered her closed exam booklet in front of her. Fitzgerald was still hunched over his paper. She didn't want to wait outside for him, preferring it to be very coincidental that she would leave the room at the same time he did. Hopefully he would suggest they go for lunch together. If he did not ask, she would be forced to, perhaps using a little joke. Ming tended to stumble over humor. She could ask what he planned to do this afternoon — was that the kind of thing people said? On scrap paper, she wrote several possible ways to phrase the question, and in doing so almost failed to notice when Fitzgerald stood up, handed in his exam, and left the room.
From Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures by Vincent Lam © 2006. Published by Anchor Canada.
Mr. Garisto ENG 4U14 May 2016Stress, Risk, and Love in the WorkforceOften in life, many people generate an image for themselves which they plan to abide by for the duration of their lives, meanwhile others focus on their past therefore limiting them from progressing in life. The author, Vincent Lam gives the readers a further insight regarding the mentality of multiple medical students in order to portray the differences between their personalities and thoughts. Highlighting the imperfections of doctors and healthcare, Bloodletting and Miraculous Curedepicts how risk, stress, and love effect a doctor’s overall performance within their workforce and impacts their daily lifestyle. There are many different ways in which Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures can be deconstructed through psychoanalytical theory. One of the most prominent symbols in the novel is forbidden love. The constant thought of Ming balancing love, school, and a future career in medicine are significant factors that cloud her processes of thought and judgement. It is stated that “She had to get into medical school this year. Her family was modern in what they wanted for her education, and old-fashioned in what they water for her husband. They would disapprove of Fitzgerald, a non-Chinese”(Lam 6). For Ming forbidden love represents the expectations that are set strongly by her family. The tradition that she follows is the source that drives her thoughts, actions and behavior which influences her lifestyle profoundly. Raised into a strict set of traditional circumstances, Ming’s super ego constantly restricts her from thinking of Fitzgerald in a romantic manner because her conscious believes it is wrong to do so. Over