The medical novel is becoming a category all its own -- obviously as much of a household utility as the Band-aid. Siegel has done others which have this kind of popular competence -- no theatrics, no advanced terminology. The four doctors here (Rafe, a surgeon; St. Denis, running away from the amphetamine practice of his father; Patience, a pediatrician; and Emilio, OB) establish a group practice in the small town of Lower Piers where the old hospital is an inadequate facility much as its aging GP is guilty of incompetence. Thus the death of Rafe's wife in an accident on arrival there. But there are enough other things in Lower Piers to keep them all busy -- a minister who's a very secret drinker; a battered child; an ulcer patient who becomes a coronary victim on the table, etc., etc.; and two satisfactory marriages at the close. . . . Take a reading and you'll find it's 98.6.