Books: Inside Story

INTERN by Doctor X. 404 pages. Harper & Row. $5.95.

"People think of surgery," writes the author, "as a grim, tense business with the surgeon snapping 'Scalpel!' and 'Clamp!' and everything going along in dramatic silence except for the click, click of instruments. This is just a lot of hogwash. About half the time the surgeon is telling dirty jokes with the fixed intent of embarrassing the scrub nurse. The rest of the time there is bickering, or gossip, or talk about how things were last winter in Palm Springs, or how many suction cups on a squid's tentacles, or whether a...

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