A third year medical student rotates through a gynecology clinic at the university. The attending Dr. Snarr, is supposed to treat his patients' chronic pelvic pain, but only seems to inflict pain himself. The student/narrator wants to comfort the patients, but lacks the knowledge, skills, and authority. The student also feels uncomfortable with issues of sexuality and intimacy with these female patients.


Useful in discussions of ethical dilemmas for medical students confronted with incompetent or impaired attending physicians, in teaching the doctor-patient relationship, and in family practice or gynecology residency settings. Although Dr. Snarr may seem too extreme a character, he does highlight the issues of poor role models in medical training and the danger for students of confrontation with these poor role models.

Primary Source

Battles of Life and Death


Houghton Mifflin

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