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MCW Common Read

The purpose of the MCW Common Read Program is to unite students, trainees, faculty, staff, and community members alike in thought-provoking discussions about timely topics.

Each year a book will be selected that exemplifies the integration of innovation, reflection, academic discourse and critical thinking. Selected books will be framed by formal and informal events allowing for engagement with the subject matter in meaningful ways that enrich the reader's experience.

The MCW Common Read Program strives to provide a foundation for conversations around change, compassion, caring, and character - we strive to make the un-common, COMMON.

2019 Common Read Book Selection

In Shock: My Journey from Death to Recovery and the Redemptive Power of Hope

by Dr. Rana Awdish

In Shock"In Shock is a riveting first-hand account from a young critical care physician, who in the passage of a moment is transfigured into a dying patient. This transposition, coincidentally timed at the end of her medical training, instantly lays bare the vast chasm between the conventional practice of medicine and the stark reality of the prostrate patient.

Hauntingly perceptive and beautifully written, it allows the reader to transform alongside her, and watch what she discovers in our carefully cultivated, yet often misguided standard of care. The author demonstrates through engaging narrative and laser-sharp wit how the unbearable is borne. She comes to understand the fatal flaws in her profession and in her own past actions as a physician. She also achieves, through unflinching presence, a crystalline vision of a new and better possibility.

Using her exceptional recall, Awdish fashions an elegant, yet urgent call to action. As she finds herself up against the same self-protective partitions she was trained to construct as a medical student and physician, she artfully illuminates the dysfunction of disconnection. Shatteringly personal, and yet wholly universal, she offers a brave roadmap for anyone navigating illness. At the same time, she presents physicians with a new paradigm and rationale for embracing the emotional bond between doctor and patient. All told, she cogently outlines the redemptive possibilities of dismantling the barriers to connection in all relationships."

Learn more about In Shock, about Dr. Rana Awdish and register to attend a Grand Rounds presentation by Dr. Awdish on April 18, 2019. 

Book Discussion Toolkit

Program Goals

Program Goals

The 2019 MCW Common Read book selection is sponsored by the Robert D. and Patricia E. Kern Institute for the Transformation of Medical Education

The MCW Common Read shared reading experience is designed to:

  • Engage the campus community and beyond in an academically focused reading experience
  • Generate robust discussions and exchanges of diverse ideas
  • Promote connections among members of the campus community and beyond
  • Provide a common starting point for building relationships
  • Equip readers with the skills necessary to approach the world with cultural humility and curiosity

Goals adapted with permission from UW Madison’s Go Big Read Program

Book Discussion Guidelines For Participants

Book Discussion Guidelines For Participants

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Book Discussion Guidelines For Facilitators

Book Discussion Guidelines For Facilitators

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Discussion Guide for In Shock

Discussion Guide for In Shock

Download the free discussion guide for In Shock, intended for use with medical school coursework, residency programs and book clubs.
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Ways to Engage

Kern Institute Grand Rounds: Rana Awdish, MD

Kern Institute Grand Rounds: Rana Awdish, MD

Join us on Thursday, April 18 from 9:00-10:00 am in the MCW HRC Auditorium for a Grand Rounds presentation by Rana Awdish, MD, best-selling author of In Shock. 

Learn more
Locate a Copy of In Shock

Locate a Copy of In Shock

Borrow a Copy

Borrow a copy of the 2019 Book Selection In Shock from the MCW Libraries. Books are available on the New Book Display at the entrance of the library. 

Find at Your Local Public Library

  • Milwaukee County: In Shock is available in print and as an ebook using OverDrive. Check with local library to learn more.
  • Green Bay, Brown County Library: In Shock is available for the Kindle
  • Wausau, Marathon County Library: In Shock is available in print. Find electronic copies using OverDrive.
Suggest a Book

Suggest a Book

Have a book in mind for the 2019-2020 Common Read? Email us!

Submit book suggestion
Writing Submissions

Writing Submissions

Submit a book review, creative writing piece, poem or drawing about the book to be posted on the Common Read Blog
Are you doing an event related to Common Read?

Are you doing an event related to Common Read?

Let us know!

Upcoming Events

  • March 21, 2019

    5:30 pm–6:30 pm

    Book Discussion with Dr. Amy Domeyer-Klenske, Dr. Rahmouna Farez, Dr. Megan Heinlein & M3, Sophia Lindekugel

    Medical College of Wisconsin, Hub for Collaborative Medicine A3540

  • March 22, 2019

    12:00 pm–2:00 pm

    Book Discussion with Dr. Jeff Fritz

    Medical College of Wisconsin - Central Wisconsin

  • April 9, 2019

    12:00 pm–1:00 pm

    Book Discussion with Dr. Cassie Ferguson and Dr. Alicia Pilarski

    Medical College of Wisconsin, Kerrigan Auditorium

  • April 10, 2019

    12:00 pm–1:00 pm

    Book Discussion - AWSM x SWAG x Common Read

    Medical College of Wisconsin, M3860, Digital Classroom 2

Contact Us

MCW Common Read Steering Committee

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MCW Common Read imagery created by MCW medical student Rushi Patel