Following Peter Kaminski through his career as a medical student after struggling to even get the chance to make his dream come true, Keystone by Bernard Leo Remakus, M.D. tells, in the end, a rather sad tale foreshadowed in the beginning of the book but how it actually ends is as much a surprise as it was prediction. It was midway through the book as I considered the conflict because I was so absorbed in the reading that I realized the first conflict was getting into medical school and the ultimate conflict was surviving it while trying not to ruin his life. Although there is sorrow in the book, the author’s tongue in cheek writing style found me belly laughing at various times. As the author is an M.D. I’m sure most of the book reflects real practices in the medical field and something everyone who has ever been a patient should read.
There was so much right with this book. I really found myself wrapped up in Peter’s character with his high standards and seemingly endless obligations he tried to meet and managed to succeed at doing so more than an average person. More importantly, I loved his growth as a doctor and how he invested himself in learning and standing up for his patients. The brief story of the boy with a brain tumor and Peter’s unconditional care for the family instantly showed his empathy and moral aptitude as a person and a doctor. His relationship with his father was also touching. I have to say I disliked Lori’s character from the beginning so although I felt sorry for Peter for what happened between them I couldn’t help feeling he got the better end of the deal.
The plot of the book was so well written I was almost done before I really started to think about why I was so invested in reading it. I felt the frustration as Peter was denied admission to medical school time and time again and then with each rotation he served in with the endless and over-realistic terms that came with all of them. It is amazing to me that this a realistic view of how doctor’s are made and how our healthcare system works. I became absorbed in the rotations and as anxious as our main character opening his test exam letters and residency assignments. I ideally would have wanted to know more about the relationship between Peter and Lori but I guess in the end the point is that it was lacking and I was honestly glad because she seemed like a ball of gloom and doom that I could have lived without anyway.
The editing and grammar are on a professional level and the book is nicely laid out. Some poetry from the characters are included and I liked the way it changed print to let you know what you were reading. I would have to say that the chapters were odd and the book needs broken up into manageable chapters. As much as I hated to, I needed stopping points and they just weren’t there. The reader will enjoy hearing the story of Peter and how he became a doctor but what it might have cost him. This is another winning novel by the author.