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Island Practice: Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  553 ratings  ·  93 reviews
ISLAND PRACTICE was optioned for a television series by Imagine Television ("Friday Night Lights," "24") and Fox Television. Screenwriter is Amy Holden Jones, acclaimed feature film writer whose movies include "Mystic Pizza" and "Indecent Proposal."

ISLAND PRACTICE audiobook is now available! Read by talented actor Joe Barrett, who has also recorded William Faulkner, Tom Wo
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by PublicAffairs (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
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 ·  553 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was ok
I loved the concept of this book - year-round rural doctoring on an island known as a summer playground for the rich. But the organization was b-a-d. I felt like I was reading unedited notes. Very repetitive and lots of "This guy is so eccentric! He has weird hobbies! Here is what a celebrity has to say about him. Also, here is a bad pun!!" Yech.

Would have made an outstanding New Yorker profile, fell flat as a book. On the plus side, I learned a lot about tick-born illnesses. Did you know that
Jennifer Hummer
May 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Island Practice by Pam Belluck is a nicely drawn biography of the infamous Dr. Lepore, the landmark doctor on Nantucket. Belluck writes with an overall sense of admiration for the doctor, even while describing some of his most controversial tactics. She makes it clear that the islanders feel this same admiration. The reader, however, might not. Dr. Lepore may make house calls and deliver emergency C-Sections, but he also allows islanders to live in underground caves and have sex with animals. Wh ...more
Georgen Charnes
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down. Granted, I'm a Nantucketer, so it was especially riveting to read about people I know or might know in the future, and to find out more about Dr. Lepore. But even with that added attractions, this was a truly interesting and well written book. It never seemed to bog down in too much detail, or be too sketchy.

I could see this book as the basis for a television series, a cross between House, Northern Exposure, and Doc Martin. Dr. Lepore is a challenging character...
Julie Flygare
Jan 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Island Practice is the mesmerizing story of Dr. Tim Lepore, the only surgeon on Nantucket Island. Thirty miles off the coast of Massachusetts, Nantucket is best known for its beaches, red pants, and sky-high real-estate prices, but author Pam Belluck reveals a different side of the island, a diverse year-round population with quirky medical problems and a doctor as quirky as his clientele. Dr. Lepore does not shy away from mysterious strange cases - including two cases of narcolepsy with cataple ...more
Sep 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Roxy Beardall
Recommended to Shawna by: just found it
It was interesting to hear about Nantucket, especially since I have been to nearby Martha's Vineyard. It is also fun to learn about such an amazing doctor. I am always amazed there are not more people like him. He reminded my husband of my grandfather, Pop that was very knowledgeable, could fix nearly anything, and would make a tool to get the job done if he couldn't find one.

A coworker of my husband's knows the author of this book. This my husband learned after telling his co-worker, that frequ
Nov 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was interesting at first, but became repetitive and boring. How could a book about such a diverse, eccentric, larger than life genius doctor practicing on Nantucket be boring? Ms. Belluck praised him too much. She didn't tell enough stories about him to support her awe. If she had written a book of anecdotes and left the readers to feel the awe and curiosity and annoyance on their own, it would have been a terrific book.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
If you have any affilation with the island (meaning Nantucket, not MV) will enjoy this peak into the real life of a few islanders. Being made into a series!!!!
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Combination of an interesting character's story, as the island MD, and the great differences in medical practice on an island.
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Island Practice, Cobblestone Rash, Underground Tom, and Other Adventures of a Nantucket Doctor by Pam Belluck (2012)

Dr. Tim Lepore (rhymes with peppery) left his mainland emergency medicine practice in Providence, Rhode Island to raise his family and tend to the people of Nantucket, MA. When he served a shift in the cottage hospital on the island one summer, he thought that trading the mean streets and mayhem of Providence in the 1980's for the quiet beauty of an American vacation paradise would
I've read my fair share of medical memoir, but this is not medical memoir: it's a biography, or at least an extended profile, of a doctor written by a journalist.

Tim Lepore has been the resident surgeon on the island of Nantucket for decades. It's a somewhat isolating job, but it gives him the chance to play cowboy—to flout convention and go his own way. (The book argues that he's not a cowboy because he's very careful about safety and so on, but I'd argue that you can be a 'cowboy' while still
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction-non
This book chronicles the journey of a New England doctor who becomes unsatisfied with the industrial revolution ideals of mass production applied to one of the few noble endeavors of mankind - the caring and treating of humans. Boxed in by the profit-focused and quick-lube approach to medical brought on by the introduction of HMO between care-giver and care-needer an opportunity opens up for Tim Lepore on the island of Nantucket. There, medical facilities and staff are minimal allowing him to pr ...more
Grant Sanders
Jul 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I am a former (and perhaps future) patient of the doctor in this book, Tim Lepore, and the stories spun here are all true and very entertaining. I found myself laughing out loud at parts. Tim is a larger-than-life figure on the island. Eccentric. Brilliant. Hard working. A vital part of the community. I found the book to be a little scattered and would have appreciated a slightly more linear approach to telling Tim's story, but overall, it was quite enjoyable. The only downside of this experienc ...more
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library_books, ebooks
A disclaimer that my parents have been patients of Dr. Lepore's since he arrived on the island a generation ago. I've never met him myself.

I wasn't as interested in the doctor's personal details - there are a chapter each on his growing up, and his wife and kids - as about the island in general. Definitely recommended for the discussion of the challenges of practicing on an island, where fog can be a serious problem in terms of getting emergency patients to the mainland, as well the discussion o
Aug 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fascinating glimpse of what it's like to live and work full-time on Nantucket. Not exactly a storybook picture. An island-wide epidemic of Lyme Disease, extremely high rates of substance abuse and suicide, and population of people who seem to be just outside the definition of "normal". All of them rely on one doctor who is not exactly normal himself. But the island couldn't make it without him. Well-written and interesting, now I'm not so disappointed that we didn't get to visit Nantucket on o ...more
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Suggested by one of our librarians, this non-fiction tale of a doctor pracricing on Nantucket was a real eye-opener. Is there really such a doctor out there who puts his patients first and not the almighty dollar? I can see how the locals are becoming worried as to who will follow when Tim Lepore decides to retire,

These stories are interesting and keep attention, without being preachy or too fr over the limit.
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Very nicely written non-fiction book about a small town doctor doing big things on the island of Nantucket. After reading this book and learning about the huge problem they have with tick-borne diseases there I will no longer be envious of Martha Stewart or John Kerry's vacations in Nantucket. Nope. You can mark that off my list of places to go. Great book with lots of human interest stories of the town doctor. Interesting read!
Feb 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I bought this book for my spouse to read; but I could not resist reading this true story about Tim Lepore, M.D. from Nantucket.
I have met this man many times and I love the island where he practices! This is such a great story about a wonderful, eccentric, committed physician. The author's "take" is wonderfully refreshing.
I actually felt like I was a part of Dr. Lepore's world!
Debbie Manning
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Thank you Goodreads and author, Pam, for a wonderful read. I love Nantucket, and it was a real treat to read about people who make it their year round home. Dr. Tim is an amazing character. I think he should be cloned to replace most physicians practicing today! I hope to look him up on my next Nantucket adventure and bring him some roadkill.
Jul 29, 2012 rated it really liked it

Great book about a great place and evidently a great man. I have always enjoyed Nantucket and this book show the complex nature of this amazing place. Good luck to Dr. Lepore and the citizens of Nantucket.

Seriously, read this book
Aug 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! I got my copy signed by the author and Dr. Tim(at Bookworks, the best, little bookstore in all of MA!!).
The book is chock-full fascinating anecdotes about the island and it's equally fascinating residents. It reads similarly to Tracy Kidder's Mountains Beyond Mountains.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
The dark side of Nantucket. Its not the island paradise most people perceive. The chapter on teen suicides was especially depressing. Tim Lepore seems a bit "off", but he is often praised as a great doctor. Interesting read, but it did occasionally drag.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a facinating biography of an island doctor and Nantucket. I learned about ticks and their diseases and about the lives of those that live on Nantucket. It was hard to read before bed because I wanted to stay up and read one more chapter.
Feb 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
Sam and I have worked with this doc on Nantucket for >20 years. He's a great and really unique guy. The book is a good read, and an accurate portrayal. He really does have a jackalope drinking beer in his waiting room! ...more
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
What an interesting and well-written book. Dr. Lepore is a unique person, so stays focused and independent for the welfare of his patients. He has a few quirks. Pam Belluck is a very good writer. Will look at the NYTimes for more written by her.
Mar 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a great book about a fascinating doctor and his practice. It's a light fun read that is about the real people who live on Nantucket year round. After reading so much Elin Hildebrand, it's an interesting contrast.
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
A serious book about a serious way of life. Learned a lot about modern medical practice in a remote setting & the people who live there, languishing both in their own problems and their love of the island. ...more
Jun 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
It was a very interesting look into the life on Nantucket and Dr. Lepore who certainly is a very unique character and vert important person to the island.
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
A nice taste of life on an island as seen through the practice of Nantucket's primary surgeon & general practitioner. Dr. Lepore is an interesting man. Personally, I wish he was my doctor. ...more
Denise Hoecker
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
The book was really interesting but it jumped around a little too much for me to always follow. I do like how Dr. Lepore was portrayed and enjoyed how he is eccentric.
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
This doctor is weird, but is going all out for his patients-anyone who needs him regardless of ability to pay. I wish their were more like him!
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Reviews of Island Practice 11 11 Jun 06, 2012 11:10AM  

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Pam Belluck has been a staff writer for The New York Times for more than fifteen years. She served for more than a decade as a national bureau chief, and has covered big breaking stories; investigated problems with food safety, public housing, and health care; reported from places as diverse as Colombia and South Korea; and written about subjects as diverse as cattle rustling, embryo adoption, and ...more

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