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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Being a doctor - being an author. Some perspectives.

It would seem that my novels' sales have now moved into hibernation, meaning that they're not moving at all from the supplies at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Hastings, etc. But just to let you know that my third volume, Turbulence and Restoration, is a month from its release date (March 12th).  Now, let me tell you that it is very difficult for me to be my own salesperson. I see lots of authors out there who are pushing their own products, writing on "social media" sites, and who appear to be having some success doing that. But that is not me, nor is it my "style."

What is my style is what I did yesterday. I spoke about my third book to a small, but very interested book club. It was just them and me, talking about my book, and what it meant to write it, why I write, and where the characters come from. This gave me a greater sense of pleasure and fulfillment than any on-line sales could ever do. I believe it was the personal impact of sitting down, talking with people, finding out what they liked and didn't like, and how my books entwined with their lives that truly got to me.

And, as I reflected on this, I realized that was also what I love about medicine (my day job). And how, we, as a society, are now making that so much harder. The business of medical practice is becoming just that - a business. I see the physician - patient relationship as something that is vanishing from view, to be replaced by "the realities of the marketplace." This saddens me, and I think that this reality was what motivated me to write my books.

We, as humans, are searching for relationships. We long for them. We strive for them. But where does one go to get treatment for a cold, the flu; to find out if that nagging pain may be significant? Too often, we go to the local urgent care center, and come away with only partial answers, and no personal fulfillment felt either by the patient or the "provider." Only a sense that "I got what I paid for."

What I strive to do, in my job as a physician, is to remind my patients and myself that what we are entering is a relationship (albeit limited in time and scope), which is based upon centuries of history, and which I fervently hope is not going to vanish with the economic realities of the present.

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