Friday, August 8, 2014

Away on Vacation: Anne of Green Gables Country.

Heading towards Anne of Green Gables country. In the meantime, perhaps you would like to catch up with some of my past postings or even read my book: The Cockroach Catcher

 Young Hawksbill Turtle©2010 Am Ang Zhang


Latest Views on the book:


5.0 out of 5 stars A Must-read for Students of Psychiatry August 10, 2014
Format:Paperback
We all have stories to tell with regard to our experiences as physicians. Zhang is one of our medical school classmates who took it to a different level by writing and publishing a book. The book details how it all started, from the time his family moved to Hong Kong from China, to his years in medical school, to his experience as a child psychiatrist in the UK. The book is full of interesting case studies of actual patients he saw and the challenges he faced dealing with them.
I was captivated by many of the interesting stories in the book. It’s a must-read for all students of psychiatry. It also makes for good reading material for anyone during their leisure moments.

From another doctor friend:

The Cockroach Catcher has evoked many images, memories, emotions from my own family circumstances and clinical experience.

My 80 year old Mum has a long-standing habit of collecting old newspaper and gossip magazines. Stacks of paper garbage filled every room of her apartment, which became a fire hazard. My siblings tricked her into a prolonged holiday, emptied the flat and refurbished the whole place ten years ago. ……My eldest son was very pretty as a child and experienced severe OCD symptoms, necessitating consultations with a psychiatrist at an age of 7 years. The doctor shocked us by advising an abrupt change of school or we would "lose" him, so he opined. He was described as being aloft and detached as a child. He seldom smiled after arrival of a younger brother. He was good at numbers and got a First in Maths from a top college later on. My wife and I always have the diagnosis of autism in the back of our mind. Fortunately, he developed good social skills and did well at his college. He is a good leader and co-ordinator at the workplace. We feel relieved now and the years of sacrifice (including me giving up private practice and my wife giving up a promising administrative career ) paid off.

Your pragmatic approach to problem solving and treatment plans is commendable in the era of micro-managed NHS and education system. I must admit that I learn a great deal about the running of NHS psychiatric services and the school system.

Objectively, a reader outside of the UK would find some chapters in the book intriguing because a lot of space was devoted to explaining the jargons (statementing, section, grammar schools) and the NHS administrative systems. Of course, your need to clarify the peculiar UK background of your clinical practice is understandable.

Your sensitivity and constant reference to the feelings, background and learning curves of your sub-ordinates and other members of the team are rare attributes of psychiatric bosses, whom I usually found lacking in affect! If more medical students have access to your book, I'm sure many more will choose psychiatry as a career. The Cockroach Catcher promotes the human side of clinical psychiatric practice in simple language that an outsider can appreciate. An extremely outstanding piece of work indeed.

From Australia:

I have finished reading The Cockroach Catcher and thoroughly enjoyed it.

Zhang, I particularly liked the juxtaposition and paralleling of your travel stories and observations with your case studies, Of course, I could appreciate it even more, knowing the author and hearing your voice in the text. Because I’m dealing with anorexia, ADD and ADHD students I was very interested in your experiences with patients and parents and your treatment. Amazing how many parents are the underlying causes of their offspring’s angst. It was an eminently readable text for the medically uninitiated like me. Keep writing, Zhang
 Squid ©2010 Am Ang Zhang
From another doctor:

Absolutely riveting! Brings me back to working (in NHS psychiatry) when work was really interesting! The tone is quite conversational; it is like hearing you telling stories. I ordered more copies for my family and friends.

I knew it would be very special and it sure is. To us your trainees it is like going back on the rotation to have the joy of working with you again. The difference is that l can now learn at leisure from this book. Congratulations.
The book is very well written and makes very easy and interesting reading even for the laymen. You learn a lot about the Health System, a lot about child psychiatry and a lot about the growing up and development of the author.

Fascinating account of child psychiatry cases, including some creative yet effective treatments. Anyone who is a parent or around children or really anyone at all actually will find the book surprising, entertaining, thought-provoking, funny and moving.

The book makes me realize the difficult decisions with which a doctor is so often faced, the need for him to have faith in himself and, coupled with that, the need for continued idealism and enthusiasm. These don't, of course, apply only to doctors but are particularly important for them.
Great book. I have bought one to give to my son on his birthday.




From the LUL
U.com website, where you can preview the chapter Seven Minute Cure and if you so wish, order a copy of the book (after creating your own account):

Fascinat
ing! What a great read. Just reading the one chapter made me want to read the whole book. Thank you!
A beautiful opening! A piece written with of all that wit, intelligence and sarcasm! The author has managed to illustrate a boring NHS subject in the most interesting of ways. He has convinced me to read on. The NHS should urgently seek help and advice from this doctor!
Thank goodness for doctors like these!! If the rest of the book is as good as the preview chapter then it will be a fantastic resource for practitioners and the public. 
Fascinating preview chapter. I can't wait to read more.
Horrah for the doctor. Chapter 1: The Seven Minute Cure. The doctor overcame the obstacles faced from the establishment and freed a young child from her prison. Great read.
Other reviews and feedback:
Absolutely riveting! Brings me back to working (in NHS psychiatry) when work was really interesting! The tone is quite conversational; it is like hearing you telling stories. I ordered more copies for my family and friends.
I knew it would be very special and it sure is. To us your trainees it is like going back on the rotation to have the joy of working with you again. The difference is that l can now learn at leisure from this book. Congratulations.
The book is very well written and makes very easy and interesting reading even for thelaymen. You learn a lot about the Health System, a lot about child psychiatry and a lot about the growing up and development of the author.
Fascinating account of child psychiatry cases, including some creative yet effectivetreatments. Anyone who is a parent or around children or really anyone at all actually will find the book surprising, entertaining, thought-provoking, funny and moving.
The book makes me realize the difficult decisions with which a doctor is so often faced, theneed for him to have faith in himself and, coupled with that, the need for continued idealism and enthusiasm. These don't, of course, apply only to doctors but are particularly important for them.
Great book. I have bought one to give to my son on his birthday.
(Note: both father and son are doctors.)




I was in Special Education for many years. I just love the way you dealt with the girl who was bullied, and the boy with Behaviour Disorder. I am buying two more copies, one for my friend who is a psychologist and one for a colleague in Special Education.

I wish I had read your book when I was headmistress. I would have had so much more insight into why some of the pupils behaved the way they did.
I have been a school counsellor for 15 years and we have had regular recommendations on books to read. None of them taught us as much as your book, which would have been very useful for our weekly screening meeting discussions.
Reading the book and his blog, you cannot help admiring the author's width and depth of knowledge, the light-heartedness, the humility, the humane and the human side of people.
You learn a lot about the Health System, a lot about child psychiatry and a lot about the growing up and development of the author. 
What a book! I cried a little. I laughed a little. I know I should not. 
Your stories are amazing. I really enjoy reading it. 
My wife cannot put your book down and I shall not be able to get my hands on it until she has finished.
I was horrified by some of the gruesome cases and agonised at the suffering of some of your patients. But there are moments of laughter and smile at Dr Zhang's wit in handling the cases and patients.
Am Ang, thank you for a wonderful book. You know I could not put it down. My husband is now reading it and he said it is such an easy read as he thought it was all going to be heavy and clinical.
You have such a way with the little ones. What about the 12 year old pretending to be three and a half! My goodness.
Just the village life can fill a book. (Seriously an in-depth version will be much welcome!) Book two can be Life at HKU. And so on... Fascinating!
Having grown up in farming country, I love the Chapter on The Village. I know it is different but so much about village life just clicked with me. Makes me wants to go home to have a look. I would like you to write more about yourself. Just all the little details you are so good with.
I wish I had your book when I was bringing up my kids. I am giving each of my two children a copy. I decided to put down Pillars of The Earth for a while and start your book on a flight. I could not put it down to go to sleep. Wow: it makes so much sense.
I did expect the cover photo to be one of yours – after all, the creative mind needs full exposure, artistic and otherwise. I was just recommending it to some friends.
I never imagine I can have so much fun and gain so much knowledge by reading a book of this sort by, of course, an author with a sense of humour and a deep understanding of human nature. I really enjoyed reading it. Life could be so much easier if we had the chance to do what we like, to let our thoughts be shared by someone we trust, to make sugar pills of nasty encounters and so on and so forth for bearing more positive thinking. Just by a mere short conversation, which hit exactly at the 'dead pit' of the hiccup boy, the hiccup was over. Human nature is just like that. After reading the author's accounts of his cases, I wish I could also be endowed with such wit and wisdom, not so much for curing others, but to let my own body and soul remain healthy and sound always.
Love it. I read it in three days flat. Not only should parents read it; I think all those in the medical profession should read it. There is so much common sense. I am recommending it to my book club. Will you come and talk to them about it?



Can it be that it was all so simple then
Or has time rewritten every line
If we had the chance to do it all again
Tell me - Would we? Could we?
                                                                      The Way We Were


     

2 comments:

Hail Claims said...

This book is a "must read" for all professionals in the mental health field, and for all interested individuals. It is a kaleidoscope of life seen from the eyes of the therapist who genuinely cares about his patients as people. Zhang provides an in-depth understanding of the human condition.

Have you viewed Alaska Bear Viewing said...

I was captivated by many of the interesting stories in the book. It’s a must-read for all students of psychiatry. It also makes for good reading material for anyone during their leisure moments.