When you think of plastic surgeons, inevitably in this cable/reality show saturated culture, you think of peddlers of boob jobs and Botox. But you have to ask what put a plastic surgeon on that career path? Where did they come from, learn and how did they develop into shapers of the physical form? And do some surgeons bust the stereotype of shallow creator of silicone dreams?
Well, In Stitches chronicles the life and medical rise of Dr. Anthony Youn, from insecure son of a Korean-born pediatrician to successful plastic surgeon. It also dispels almost all stereotypes attached to those who’ve taken the Hippocratic Oath.
In Stitches, co-authored with Alan Eisenstock, is a hysterical and truthful book about a life’s journey battling through perpetual nerdiness and parental dominance to become a man and healer.
In Stitches encompasses the spectrum of maturation, from awkward pubescence to confident professional. His college years are romantically tragic, his encounters with women range from the frustrating to downright bizarre. Class work and friends blend into a beer drinking, hard studying crew where an insensitivity teaches Youn a valuable personal and spiritual lesson.
Pay attention to this book because it slyly shows the growth of a man with loads of early humor before peeling away into something more serious, more focused yet always slightly insecure.
By the last page, you realize that Youn has developed with each chapter. His maturity matches each phase in his academic life. As he reaches his final years as internist Youn has become a sensitive, intuitive doctor.
If we were to select four moments of Youn’s life as portrayed in In Stitches, they would be wildly different, from hysterical to sweet. A first date with a girl has the oddest kind of spark and recounting a purposely broken jaw will have you giggling. You will be left with a lump in your throat reading about a surly elderly patient just wanting to be heard and a badly injured child who ultimately helped Youn find his calling.
This book is not what you expect from a modern plastic surgeon. This is a book about a man, a nerd, a compassionate friend and most importantly, a doctor.
In Stitches by Anthony Youn M.D. with Alan Eisenstock was received for review for free by the Boston Book Bums