Tell Me Where It Hurts: A Day of Humor, Healing, and Hope in My Life as an Animal Surgeon follows author Nick Trout through a “typical day” in his job as a veterinary surgeon at Angell Memorial Animal Hospital (he actually uses anecdotes spanning his entire career). Structuring the book as one long day was an interesting stylistic choice that I don’t really think adds to the book, which hops between timelines, patients, and stories in a sometimes jarring manner, but Dr. Trout has a likeable, compassionate voice and the stories he tells are engaging. As a person who has worked in the health care industry, the similarities between human and animal medicine were especially interesting. There is a little something for everyone here- we hear about the history and science of veterinary medicine, the special relationships between owners and their pets, and what it is like to train and work as a veterinarian. Those who have read James Herriot may be disappointed if they expect this to be a literary work on that level (I confess I have not read anything of Herriot’s yet, but have heard his work is truly amazing), but I picked this book up on a whim at the library with no expectations and found it to be an informative and interesting read. The stories don’t all have happy endings, but I thought Trout handled the more emotional stories with sensitivity and the book did not have too much of a sad tone. Animal lovers should enjoy it, especially dog lovers, as most of the memorable cases in the book involve canine patients.
Fun Fact: I have also currently been reading Susan Conant’s Dog-Lover’s Mystery series and Angell Memorial Animal Hospital gets mentioned in her books. I am familiar with the Boston area, so I love that both Conant’s Books and Tell Me Where It Hurts are based there.