Book Review: Pet Goats & Pap Smears


I first heard of Dr. Pamela Wible from one of my friends in medical school. She’d apparently tried to work with our school to get Dr. Wible to come to speak with us during our first year, but due to timing issues and the like, it never ended up happening. I hope I’ll have the chance to meet her someday though–she seems like such an inspiring lady, and her words are so uplifting.

Pet Goats & Pap Smears is a very refreshing read in the midst of what’s going on with health care today. Pamela gives me hope that I’ll still be able to practice medicine the way I’d like to, without being swept into the system and forced to jump through hoops to battle it out with insurance companies to provide my future patients with the best care possible.

The collection of short stories and anecdotes contained in here are mostly about her interactions with her patients, interspersed with her memories of medical school and working with different mentors. They are fun, whimsical, and heartwarming–like Chicken Soup for the Doctor’s Soul. I keep being told that with the way medicine is today, what I envision my ideal practice to be is not possible anymore, and that I still think the way I do because I’m young and too idealistic…but here she is, practicing medicine in a community clinic that truly puts patients first. She gives me hope that I’ll be able to do the same.

One of my favorite chapters is probably Doctor-in-Training–Part Two, but one of the quotes that sticks with me most is:

“I want to be part of a solution instead of a passive contributor to a problem.”


I’d love to have a clinic like hers someday, and for the concept of happy doctors to not be something that’s considered out of the ordinary.

I’d definitely recommend Pet Goats & Pap Smears to any medical student (especially one who’s interested in family medicine and/or private practice), but this would be a great read for anyone who wants to follow his/her dreams and passions.

P.S. I promise the title will make sense after you read the book.Farrah


Farrah has a background in exercise biology and music. Her passions include food, sports medicine, working with the under-served, blogging, food and cats. She’s a good cook, too.

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