The Art of Medicine and The Art of Fiction
(Excerpt From Author Interview in back matter to The Atheist and the Parrotfish)
What do the art of medicine and the art of fiction have in common?
More than you might think. I try to create complex characters that are three
dimensional, so that they seem like real people. Patients are real people who need to be related to in three dimensions: physical, emotional, and spiritual. And each patient’s illness is a story in which that patient is the lead character. It is not possible to provide effective care to a patient without knowing their story, and it is not possible to create believable characters without a story for them to act upon. In this way the roles of doctor and writer are the same: each must understand the central character and that character’s story.