After completing her medical training in New York, Susan Levenstein set off for a one year adventure in Rome. Forty years later, she is still practicing medicine in the Eternal City. In Dottoressa: An American Doctor in Rome Levenstein writes, with love and exasperation, about navigating her career through the renowned Italian tangle of brilliance and ineptitude, sexism and tolerance, rigidity and chaos.
Susan Levensteins Dottoressa is a smart, funny, charming, highly readable memoir of practicing medicine in Italy and is full of astute insights into the way Italy works. Approaching Italy from the vantage point of the medical profession and its health system is actually a great way to understand important aspects of Italian society. There is corruption and cronyism, the dysfunctional university system that produces a massive oversupply of doctors (many of whom remain unemployed), but at the same time an often quite efficient national health system that treats everyone and often with better results than the more expensive American system. -- Alexander Stille, author of Benevolence and Betrayal: Five Italian-Jewish Families Under Fascism