One Question Interview: Shane Neilson

14Jul10

Shane Neilson is a family physician who has published Exterminate My Heart (Frog Hollow Press, 2008), Meniscus (Biblioasis, 2009) and most recently Complete Physical.

Have you had feedback from other doctors about the book?

I haven’t recieved any feedback from other doctors because the book is so new. It was mentioned in the summer reading issue of the Medical Post… where I also have a column. So I’m sure that some feedback will be forthcoming, at least so far as a book of poetry actually makes it into the “real world.” It’s an interesting question, though, as my memoir, Call Me Doctor, has had a reaction from other physicians. It’s mainly negative. I was a bit of a difficult personality back in the day. The rare doctor thinks bit of dissent is a good thing… and I treasure those responses. But as for Complete Physical, I think the first half of the book will be so far, so good for the physician readership. Empathetic patient narratives and lyrics. But the second half is where, for doctors, the rubber meets the road. Doctors will have “been there, done that” moments, for the second half is very circumspect about the business of medicine, about what it means to be a physician. As in, am I actually helping people in this traditional role? What do I mean? Well, I’m already being called “Dr. House” by the local populace in Erin, where I work. This is, though, a book for everyone. It provides perspective into what the doctor is thinking. But for doctors, that privileged audience, it’s a bit of a soul-check.

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