Monday, December 08, 2008

Cover of Cover via AmazonI am not a doctor, nor do I play one on television. I am fascinated by the history of modern medicine. My most recent manuscript, Sea Change, featured a surgeon aboard an American privateer. My WIP (work in progress) features a secondary character from Sea Change, Dr. Alexander Murray. Dr. Murray is a phlegmatic (at least until he meets the heroine) scientist, a surgeon in the Royal Navy who's devoted his life to trying to keep people alive under the most trying of circumstances. Researching this new book has reminded me all over again why I find this study fascinating.

For example, I needed to know when the stethoscope was invented, and serendipitously, it's credited to Dr. Rene Laennec in 1816, putting it right into my era. I was also researching in the book Medical Firsts by Robert E. Adler and found this passage on the germ theory of disease:

"Germs cause disease. This simple idea is so much a part of our thinking that it seems as self-evident as gravity...the humdrum basics of medicine--...a quick swipe with an alcohol-soaked wad of cotton before an injection--can seem more like rituals than the lifesaving offspring of a profound concept."

He's right. There's so much we do now that we take for granted, it's good to refresh our memories as to why these "rituals" are important and why they made such a difference in our world.
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Jayne said...

OMG, do you have a new book out soon? I've been waiting to hear of one.

Darlene said...

From your mouth to the publishers' ears.[g] I have two more novels completed, but they're awaiting sale and in the hands of my agent.

In the meantime, I keep writing. Believe me, as soon as I make another sale you'll read about it here, and at about 20 other sites.[g]