10 Lessons From “Breaking & Mending” By Joanna Cannon

Review Of Joanna Cannon’s Breaking & Mending: An Excellent Medical Memoir

“We tell our stories in the hope that someone out there will listen, and we will be understood.”

In her book Breaking & Mending, Joanna Cannon describes how her experience as a junior NHS doctor almost broke her.

The author worried that she wouldn’t be able to handle things and that she wasn’t good enough. She occasionally received poor treatment from senior doctors and worked in a setting that paid very little attention to the health and happiness of its employees.

The stories of individuals she attempted to heal are also told with great regard and care: Paul, a 38-year-old father of two who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; Joan, a 79-year-old who was blind, irascible, and described as “wonderful”; and Alex, a junior doctor who committed suicide two days after being released from the psychiatric ward.

  1. Patients’ Compassion: In spite of unspeakable anguish and suffering, patients frequently show one another a great amount of compassion by providing consolation and support during the most difficult times.
  2. The Value Of Storytelling: Stories give individuals a way to bond, promote understanding, and exchange personal experiences. We can foster healing and empathy by sharing our stories.
  3. The Effects Of Excessive Workload And Disillusionment: The book illuminates the hard reality of the medical field, particularly the excessive workload and disillusionment that a lot of doctors experience. It emphasises how systemic adjustments are required to support healthcare professionals.
  4. The Perseverance Of Healthcare Professionals: In spite of the difficulties they encounter, healthcare workers frequently exhibit extraordinary perseverance and commitment to their patients. It is admirable how dedicated they are to giving sensitive treatment.
  5. The Value Of Compassion: “Breaking & Mending” highlights the value of compassion in the medical field. Small deeds of compassion and understanding can have a big impact on patients’ life and aid in their recovery.
  6. The Impacts Of Burnout: This book delves into the idea of burnout and how it affects medical practitioners. It brings attention to the necessity of support networks and self-care in averting burnout and advancing wellbeing.
  7. The Power Of Reflection: Healthcare professionals can learn a great deal about their experiences and feelings by reflecting and going inward. Resilience and personal development can be enhanced by taking the time to think through and process.
  8. Human Emotion Complexity: “Breaking & Mending” explores the emotional complexities that doctors encounter, such as bereavement, compassion fatigue, and the challenge of juggling their personal and professional life. It emphasises how critical it is to recognise and deal with these feelings.
  9. The Necessity Of Empathy In healthcare: The importance of empathy in healthcare encounters is highlighted throughout the book. Gaining insight into the opinions and experiences of patients can promote enhanced trust, communication, and eventually better patient outcomes.
  10. The Importance Of Vulnerability: “Breaking & Mending” exhorts healthcare professionals to accept their own limitations and to be open to vulnerability. They will be able to connect with patients and staff more deeply and give more compassionate care as a result.

This is Going to Hurt, Adam Kay’s memoir about his time as a young physician, has been read and appreciated by many. Despite many similarities, the two books read very differently. Not only is This is Going to Hurt hilarious, but it also provokes a lot of thought. Breaking & Mending is a poignant and thought-provoking book that focuses heavily on the mental health of healthcare professionals as well as patients.

It’s a book that everyone should read, especially now that the NHS is receiving so much attention. Even if the NHS isn’t flawless, there are a lot of people working there who genuinely want to help their patients.

About the author : Andrew Warren