1. Human Remains, the fifth Hope Sze crime novel, is available for preorder online, including on Amazon.ca .com .uk/Kobo/iTunes/Nook/Google Play (all links here), and will debut on April 25th (DNA Day). Yay!
2. Now I have time to talk about other good stuff, like the fact that the Medical Post chose my article as one of the best of the year.
Dr. Yuan-Innes reflects on a old Welsh myth of the sin eaters that Margaret Atwood writes about in one of her short stories. “We study to the point of exhaustion and work inhumane hours for the privilege of seeing the worst of human nature,” Dr. Yuan-Innes writes. While she had gotten into medical school believing doctors were heroes, the revelation in Atwood’s story gave her pause: doctors are sin eaters in their own way, often shunned and depraved as a result of their work.
Shunned and depraved, c’est moi. If you want to read the full article, it’s here.
All the articles are gated (you have to make an account with an e-mail and password), but it means that the people who read them care. I love reading the comments and seeing what people have to say.
I wrote my first Medical Post article in 2009, “The Doogie Howser Dilemma,” when patients said I looked too young to be a doctor. It sounds like a compliment, but I could tell some patients were actively uncomfortable. They wanted me to look more, um, seasoned. Fortunately, time has mostly taken care of that one, although I did laugh recently when a patient said, “This appendix scar is 22 years old. I think it’s older than you.”
I wrote about that, too, in my mini-article that was part of a cover story on Misconceptions in Medicine (“What do you feel are some of the biggest misconceptions (or myths) that exist about being a doctor?”). I wrote back, “I’m not an old, white man who plays golf.”
Since then, I’ve raged about the Ontario government cutting physician pay and blaming doctors for their mismanaged care. I made a video called YMCA doctors, with the help of Dr. Christine Suess, Dr. Renee Givari, Dr. Tim Heeley-Ray, Dr. Akram Akbar, Dr. Diane Poilly, a beloved civilian, and three videographers, including Jeff Dorn and Dominic Gauthier—and the Medical Post and CareNotCuts.ca helped me spread the word.
I’ve written about travelling to South Africa, including dissecting an impala and manually inflating its lungs with my breath. This article also appears in my book, The Knowledgeable Lion.
I’ve talked about how to balance motherhood and medicine, including my guilt over not diagnosing my own daughter’s hearing difficulty until she was old enough to turn up the TV and yell back at us, “Whaaaaaaat? I can’t HEAR you!”
The Medical Post has helped connect me with other doctors, including Dr. Shawn Whatley, who’s organizing the NonclinicalMD’s conference where I’ll be speaking in May. Hats off to Julie Connolly, a physician-author herself, who participated in my YMCA doctors video on health care cuts and tells tales from the single mother-doctor trenches—here’s her latest, which makes me flinch. The log of poop on the floor would’ve been the last straw for me. Julie makes the fact that we still have our Christmas tree up seem absolutely normal and unimportant. (My son, Max, said, “Leave it up ’til next year!” My daughter, Anastasia, said, “Let’s decorate it for Easter. When I told RN Mary B, she grabbed my hands and said, “God love ’em. Those are well-adjusted kids.”)
I feel so much gratitude toward The Medical Post. They’ve been an independent newspaper for over 50 years, reaching 20,000 subscribers, and providing a strong voice and current information for medical professionals.
On a personal level, the Medical Post was one of the first newspapers to publish my columns. In Cornwall and on my sojourns at CHEO or the Montfort, I met doctors who recognized me from my newspaper writing. Anna, a nurse at Glengarry, loved my article, “Are Women Ruining Medicine?” She said, “I tried to photocopy it, but the paper was too big.” (That article also appears in Fifty Shades of Grey’s Anatomy.)
Writing-wise, working with the Medical Post has been a professional boon. A collection of my columns, The Most Unfeeling Doctor in the World and Other True Tales From the Emergency Room, was my bestseller on Amazon. Last year, the 62nd Canadian Business Media Awards nominated my work for Best Regularly Featured Department or Column.
Thank you, Medical Post. We need independent, thoughtful, fact-based journalism more than ever.