Thursday, May 26, 2011

Adverse Reactions

I'm 72 hours away from being an MD.  I also recently wrote a novel.  I thought those were 2 separate events, but I'm getting  a lot strange feedback from people who think they are highly correlated.

Adverse reaction #1:  On the back of my book, I wrote a pretty funny "about the author segment".  Part of it implies that I came up with the plot of the novel while daydreaming during medical school lectures.  Another part says that the book is best read when you are drunk (it was all written in jest). Funny, right?  Well one person had already told me that I shouldn't have implied that I daydreamed during lectures, because if a patient read that then they would lose faith in me.

Adverse reaction #2: I wrote the book in a month.  So there are typos. And grammatical mistakes. And misspellings.  But it says,  on the very first page of the book, that it was written in a month- so I tried to warn my readers beforehand. Again, someone told me that there are high expectations of any book written by someone with as much education as me, and that all  of the mistakes reflect poorly on me.

I am proud that I wrote a book.  I don't think my MD should hold me to any higher literary standard than you would hold anyone else with zero writing training.  Now, if I had written about an appendectomy and said that it was on the left side, then I should be held accountable. But if I occasional change tense mid-sentence, cut me some slack.  I wrote 90% of the book on airplanes between residency interviews, so my attention was usually in 6 different places at once.

Also, I will fully admit that I daydreamed in lectures.  And if anyone wants to question whether or not I learned everything I needed to learn, I've got some stellar board scores that I'd love to show you.

I'm already looking forward to writing my next novel in November.  It's going to rock.:-D


  1. Only thoughtfully consider the criticism of others that have rocked out a novel in less than a month. the rest are just jealous!

  2. Plenty of primarily English-speaking MDs have a shockingly less-than-stellar command of the written English language.

    A medical degree does not itself confer superior ability to write. You've spent the last 4 years learning the basics of medicine, not penning prose critiqued by professors!

    Congratulations for finishing your book. I hope you enjoy some fun before internship begins!