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The First Patient

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  3,016 ratings  ·  394 reviews
From the blockbuster, New York Times bestselling author comes a high-concept, high-octane thriller at the crossroads of presidential politics and cutting-edge medicine. . . .

Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval Academy in Annapolis years ago. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of t
Hardcover, First Edition, 371 pages
Published February 19th 1998 by St. Martin's Press
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I've been flying so much lately that I've had an unusually large amount of time to read. But, traveling a lot also means less time to stay organized and plan my reading list. This combination of factors has resulted in me desperately picking up a lot of books not normally found on my shelf because I unexpectedly finished, forgot or lost my "intentional" book. In this case, I'm certainly not complaining. The First Patient was totally captivating. Now, it was also poorly edited (the same bits of e ...more
I picked up the book because of its premise. What would happen if the President of the United States was going insane (some would argue this has happened to more than one President already, but we won’t get into that here)? Who would decide and could they hide it from the public? Well, Dr. Gabe Singleton is called by his old college roommate and asked to serve as the President’s personal doctor. Once in DC Gabe is confronted by the startling possibility that the President is not going mad, but b ...more
Shelley aka Gizmo's Reviews
Summary: Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval Academy in Annapolis years ago. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States. One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe's Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard delivers a disturbing revelation and a startling request.

His personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappe
Norma Meligonis
The idea of a Wyoming rancher/doctor being asked to become the personal doctor of his friend who happens to be the President of the United States was a great hook. Was the President going mad? Was he being drugged? A few attempted murders...a little bit of torture, and some strong sleuthing and a lot of who-to-trusts. Throw in a little prospective romance and you have The First Patient. As improbable as this whole scenario goes, this political-medical thriller had its interesting parts. Not part ...more
Mary Ann
One part I guessed early on, but there were so many other twists it was a pure example of 'a bline squirrel finding a nut.' More and more authors are including nanotechnology in their books!
Harry Roger Williams III
Michael Palmer was coming to Quincy to speak at the Thomas Crane Public Library, so I read this in preparation. His talk was wonderful, and this was my first but not my last Michael Palmer novel. In fact I purchased a copy of his newest novel, Political Suicide, that evening and he was kind enough to sign it "To Harry The Librarian - my favorite kind of book-keeper." I actually haven't read that one yet. He told us it was part of his first attempt, after more than a dozen stand-alone novels, to ...more
Phyllis Sommers
I've always enjoyed Michael Palmer novels, which are usually medical thrillers. This novel definitely has a medical bent, as, right off the bat, we meet Dr. Gabe Singleton, a doctor in a small Wyoming ranch town. As we meet Gabe, however, we also meet U.S. President, Andrew Stoddard, Gabe's college roommate and lifetime friend. Drew has traveled to Wyoming to lure Gabe to return with him to Washington, D.C. and to ask him to take the post of personal physician to the President. The previous phys ...more
In Michael Palmer's the First Patient, another excellent medical thriller with political thriller elements, this would take you to the edge of the seat. Andrew Stoddard and Gabe Singleton were room mates at the Naval Academy years ago. From war heroes, they became a county doctor and the governor to the president of the United States. During a political campaign, it was when Andrew's plane landed on Gabe's Wyoming home and had asked for Gabe's help, as he told him a shocking revelation--his own ...more
Michelle Dorn
this is my first book by this author. will not read another one. the book started off slow and the plot, as lame as it was, took awhile to develop, that was not the problem. The relationship between Gabe and Alison was fractured all through out the book and went from attraction to commitment in 1 page with no prelude, no building on the characters, nothing. Palmer took Gabe from being interested in the female and her barely thinking of him to they are in an embrace promising "there will be time ...more
I read The Fifth Vial and loved it so picked this one up when it came in at the library. Oh so different....only in books can 2 people fall in love with one look while being chased by the bad guys and ...well I won't spoil the story but all I can say is as much as I loved a previous title (and others) by this author, I would not recommend this one.
Anne Martin
I agree, the story is not believable, and you guess some of the twists before they occur. But not all of them and it remains a good thriller, with a good construction and satisfying developments. Once again, it is an easy relaxing read, probably because you don't have to worry about the risks of it happening to you or to someone you care for. And that is the nice part in non-realistic suspense books. You read them as a story, no like true crime or anything gritty.
Add that the interesting charact
Suzze Tiernan
Unfortunately, a co-worker had hyped this book up to me so much that it could never have lived up to it. I liked it, but didn't love it. It was my first Michael palmer, and I do think I will try another one.
Palmer wrote a medical/political mystery/thriller that definitely kept me interested throughout. Plenty of interesting twists, and a captivating plot helped keep the intensity of the book going. The nanotechnology aspect felt like the author was going for a Michael Crichton type feel. Unfortunately, it was a bit heavier on the scientific explanation aspect and didn't allow you to feel the nanotechnology being used enough for my taste.

A few of the character relationships weren't built up enough
Feb 17, 2009 Dorothy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: readers of cloak and dagger books
Recommended to Dorothy by: My book club
The First Patient is just another politically based cloak and dagger thriller. The main characters are the President, Andrew Stoddard, better known as POTUS and his old time classmate at the Naval Academy,
Gabe Singleton. They are bound together by their mutual interests, their experiences as young men, and an accident that happened during their youthful drinking days.
Time has passed. Drew is now the President of the United States. Gabe has become a country doctor back in Wyoming. Why would th
Paul Pessolano
What if.... The United States had the best President in years. What if....the economy, stock market, social security, etc., were in great shape and the future looked better than ever.

What if...this same President, in a bid for reelection is showing signs of mental disorder and those closest to him are trying to hide this from the public.

Andrew Stokddard may be just about the best President the United States has seen in years, but is showing signs of a mental disorder. The President's physician h
Mar 04, 2009 Beeka added it
POTUS (President of United States) has chosen Gabe Singleton as his new personal physician, his best friend and college roommate, after his original physician disappeared. The president is in great danger as rumors about his mental health tears the area for a search of truth, Gabe has to find out what is causing Andrew Stoddard's episodes. Episodes of hallucinations and strange behaviors that cannot be explained by anything medically. As the truth unfolds, Gabe realizes the danger his best frien ...more
Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were once Naval Academy roomates. Today, Gabe is a country doctor and his friend Andrew has gone from war hero to governor to President of the United States. One day, while the United States is embroiled in a bitter presidential election campaign, Marine One lands on Gabe's Wyoming ranch, and President Stoddard announces that his personal physician has suddenly and mysteriously disappeared--and he desperately needs Gabe to take the man's place.

Now ensconced in
Kari Coleman
Sep 22, 2008 Kari Coleman rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes mysteries.
Title: The First Patient
Author: Michael Palmer
Date Finished: July 30, 2008
Pages: 384

Before reading this book, I had not heard anything about Nanotechnology, but found myself very intrigued as the story progressed. Not being very medical savvy, this book opened my eyes to something new that I would consider to be a topic of sensational medical research.

A definition from the Center for Responsible Nanotechnology lists: "Nanotechnology is the engineering of functional systems at the molecular scale
S Palmerom som sa nestretla po prvýkrát pri tejto knihe. Našťastie. Nechcem tým hneď v úvode naznačovať, že by táto kniha bola zlá, to nie, ale musím povedať, že som od neho čítala aj lepšie príbehy a tento bohužiaľ patril k tým priemernejším, aj keď svoje hodnotenie som napokon starostlivo zvažovala.

Príbeh nás zavedie spočiatku na Gabeovu farmu, ktorý je hlavnou postavou. Tam ho navštívi jeho dlhoročný priateľ a zároveň prezident Spojených štátov s prosbou o pomoc. Keďže ide o priateľa, ktorý m
The story began with the President of the United States, Andrew “Drew” Stoddard, calling for the help of an old friend, Dr. Gabe Singleton. The President’s previous personal doctor had disappeared and Gabe was the only person he could really trust.

Reluctantly, Gabe accepted the offer. After arriving at the White House,before he even had an opportunity to settle in, he discovered the President wasn't OK. For the past three months, the President had four psychological episodes. Dr. Ferendelli had
Gerald Kinro
Gabe Singleton and Andrew Stoddard were roommates at the Naval academy. As a result of a car accident that killed two people, Gabe who was intoxicated at the time was released from the academy. After prison, he became a country doctor/cowboy in Wyoming. On the other hand, Stoddard went from war hero to President of the United States.
While Stoddard is in the midst of a contested reelection campaign, he visits Gabe on his ranch. President Stoddard delivers a surprising request for Gabe to become
If you're going to write a novel about underdeveloped characters making one flawed decision after another in less than credible circumstances, you'd better be able to tell a great story. Luckily, Michael Palmer is able to do just that, making The First Patient an entertaining thriller that works well despite its rather obvious flaws. This is my first Michael Palmer novel, so I can't compare this one to the author's list of past medical thrillers, but I can say that there was never a single momen ...more

Highly improbable plot, though some of the themes are interesting:

long-time friends with deep-seated truths they have never shared; nanotechnology; concept of turning a president out of office by simulating a mental illness in him/her -- by causing him to unknowingly ingest psycho-active drugs.

The hero is the longtime friend of the president -- a military academy buddy who had gotten expelled for driving drunk and causing an accident, but rehabilates himself ater a prison te
Feb 28, 2010 Liz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: james patterson fans
Recommended to Liz by: alison cardone (stepmom)
Shelves: mystery-suspense
Let me just say this book was very predictable.

Gabe Singleton a doctor from Wyoming is visited by his best friend/the President of the US to come be his personal doctor in the White House. Andrew Stoddard's previous doctor has mysteriously disappeared.

When Gabe gets to the White House, he notices there is something seriously wrong with the President. Numerous attacks of psychosis have occurred and Gabe is determined to set out to find out what is causing these. He learns it is by toxic poisonin
One day I found myself at the library, unprepared... I didn't have a single book I went there to check out, so I found myself going slowly through the aisles looking for something to read. After a while, I stumbled upon this book by Michael Palmer. Having had a great experience with him in the past (see The Fifth Vial), I decided, why not? and I checked it out. I don't know why I didn't like this book so much. I mean, I guess the story was interesting (the President's health is in danger and it' ...more
I think you must have either a greater ability to suspend disbelief or more delight in the ridiculous than I posess to appreciate this book... And I'm not even talking about the sci-fi aspect of the story: I would describe the plot and character relationships both as unlikely and contrived... And the ending annoyed me too.

To be fair, it may be that my expectations were at fault. I picked up this book because it was available from the library and I was in the mood for something fast paced and sim
I normally don't read political or science books, I find them too dry and boring. This book I found in the office's lending library and I was instantly hooked on the story, partly because it didn't start with any medical descriptions nor didn't push a political agenda. It was thrilling, fast moving, and at times a "page turner". As a bonus, I now know quite a bit about the role of the President's physician and a small glimpse inside the intricacies of the White House.

You can read the background
J. Ewbank
I have read many Michael Palmer books and have enjoyed them. I liked this one but found some of the technology off-putting for me. The conclusion was a little difficult to accept. However, as a whole it was a wonderful read and I enjoyed it and will read the next Palmer book, but will watch out for the far out technical that is in this one.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"
Darren Ashley
I have finished reading THE FIRST PATIENT by Michael Palmer. The book's short to medium length chapters and a plot I could stick with will have me venture into reading another book by this author. Dr. Gabe Singleton who practices in Wyoming has been chosen to serve as the personal physician for U.S. President Stoddard, a classmate of his at the Naval Academy, after the President's doctor mysteriously disappears. Gabe sends Stoddard to the hospital for testing so he can learn of his medical condi ...more
3.0 out of 5 stars where are the really good medical thrillers now?, July 19, 2008

This review is from: The First Patient (Hardcover)
OK first off I am a nurse. Also I have been an editor for a publishing company that produces medical and allied health materials.
I LOVE medical stuff.
This book fell so short -- it was like they gave you a cool premise and then spend 100 pages with background junk and a little paragraph or two about nanotechnology and how heroic and manly the guy from Wyoming was an
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Michael Palmer, M.D., 1942-2013, was the author of Political Suicide, Oath of Office, A Heartbeat Away, The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood. His books have been translated into thirty-five languages.

More about Michael Palmer...
Silent Treatment Natural Causes The Last Surgeon Fatal The Fifth Vial

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