What's the Name of That Book??? discussion

Seven North
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SOLVED: Adult Fiction > SOLVED. Medical novel: endocrinologist, dating heart surgeon with diabetes, probs with incompetent surgeon in same hospital. [s]

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 141 comments I read this in the first half of the 90s. There were at least two books in the series; I think there were more, but, if so, I didn't read them. They're set in the USA, although I don't remember where. The protagonist is an endocrinologist; the books are written in first person so I can't remember the main character's name. He's dating a heart surgeon called Ann, who has insulin-dependent diabetes.

Of the two books I read, I remember barely anything about one of them; just that it started with the endocrinologist at some kind of medical meeting where the other doctors were trying to stump him with a case that they thought would be obscure but which he actually found easy to solve. (I think it was an insulinoma; some type of endocrinological tumour, at any rate.) The opening line is something like "They thought they had me. God knows why. If there's one thing I'm not likely to miss, it's [whatever the diagnosis was]."

I remember the other book in quite a bit more detail; the plot there is that there's another surgeon at the same hospital who seems like a great guy and is very popular with everyone, but who proves to be incompetent. The endocrinologist is thus faced with the question of how to stop this situation, where the incompetent surgeon is causing problems. On to possible spoilers:

The mistakes I remember this surgeon making are:

- He operates on a boy for abdominal pain of unknown cause, which actually turns out to be due to extremely high triglycerides. There's a line about 'surgery's never been known to chase away triglyceride levels of three thousand, which is what he had, along with some pancreatitis'.

- When one patient's blood pressure shoots up towards the end of a routine operation, this surgeon decides it must be due to a pheochromocytoma (adrenal tumour) and that he'll go in and explore surgically to remove it; which is dangerous because, if it was a pheochromocytoma, the patient would need adrenaline blocking before surgery. There is a dramatic scene around this where a nurse comes to get the main character saying "You are wanted in the OR stat, very stat" and where the main character has to go in and find a tactful, way of convincing the surgeon to stop operating without alienating him by challenging him directly about possible malpractice.

- There's a child who dies from infection after surgery on patent ductus arteriosus.

Things come to a head when someone that the main character and his partner know - who is a patient of this man - suffers a heart complication that requires urgent surgery. They're both nervous about what would happen if this surgeon did the surgery, so, while he's out of the hospital, Ann takes the opportunity to start the surgery. In the middle of this, the incompetent surgeon walks in ready to take over, but Ann refuses, saying it's 'not a good moment' to change over. The surgeon is angry about this, raises a complaint, and tries to kick Ann out of her job for stealing a patient. Ann, who has been reluctant to fight back against this guy up until now, pushes back by bringing up the subject of his incompetence, so there's some kind of big showdown about it. Oddly enough I don't remember the details of that at all, although it ends happily so the good guys must have won.

The other thing I remember about the ending was that the MC wanted children with Ann but she was concerned due to her diabetes and her time-demanding job, so he brings up the subject during the book but keeps it all fairly light so she doesn't feel pressured. Near the end, he brings the subject up again and she says something like "Well, you know what it takes to get children, and we've been doing it often enough", so he realises that she's decided to stop using contraception and go ahead with trying to get pregnant.

OK, that's it. I remember one or two other details, but I guess if anyone has read it they'll recognise it from all that I've got up there. Anyone?

message 2: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4327 comments Seven North and Evidence maybe?

message 3: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 141 comments 'Dr. Ann Payson and her lover and colleague, Dr. Ben Abrams, suspect that the legendary new chief of surgery, Ann's boss, is mishandling critical operations.'

Ooooh - this certainly sounds plausible. Also, one other detail I remember was roughly where this was on the library shelves, which would fit with a latish-in-the-alphabet surname, so that would also fit. I think you may well have got it. I can't check for certain as I can't find any previews online.

I'll add this to my list of things to buy when I get all the lovely vouchers I'm hoping to get for my birthday next week; should be able to let you know soon after that!

message 4: by Sarah (new)

Sarah (drsarah) | 141 comments Ayshe the Magnificent strikes again!

Second-hand copy of 'Evidence' arrived today; it's the one I described above, so, once again, you have nailed it. Thank you!

message 5: by Ayshe (new)

Ayshe | 4327 comments Cool! I ruled them out when looking through worldcat.org search results (I don't know why) at first and then I read some snippet on google books that the author was endocrinologist and books started to look plausible.

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