DOCTORS AT RISK by Frank G. Slaughter

DOCTORS AT RISK

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Fewer Operations, more personal turmoil, but the usual corny/antique approach--in yet another Slaughter-style medico-soap. Dr. Mark Harrison is the hero this time (yes, another ""fine specimen of physical perfection"")--and how that 28-year-old surgeon can surge! So Mark is lured away from a relatively humble Baltimore post to gilt-edged eminence in Gulf City down south--where he'll meet crack OR assistant Alexa. (""You're a very beautiful young woman, with a quality of stability and confidence that goes beyond mere femininity."") But Alexa is all business--so Mark carries on his motel affair with the Chief's daughter, that divorced blonde tomato Claire Barrett. . . who's into sex and the PR biz. And meanwhile, at Gulfside Hospital, Mark is hard at work, planning to set up a new clinic, yet disturbed by the disintegration of Dr. Jerry Thorpe, who's doing dreadful things in his GYN surgery (at which he normally excels). Why? It's pills and booze, alas. And Mark is in danger of taking the very same route to burnout--starting when he gets mugged suffers a severe concussion (Alexa saves his life by whisking him from the ER's cursory triage), and begins taking Demerol for headaches while overworking. (Filling in for Jerry, who's drying out; working overtime at the new clinic.) So things look bad for a while: two of Mark's fingers go numb at times; headaches continue; before long, Mark is mainlining, headed for a ""Disabled Doctor's Committee"" heating, unjustly accused of illegal-drug traffic, fired. . . and a potential suicide. But Alexa comes to the rescue yet again, and Mark recovers through an AA-like program in the mountains--not to mention True Love. Despite the superficially provocative subject-matter and a few inside views of micro-surgery: the lowest rung of doctor-fiction--to be scrubbed unless there are Slaughter addicts in the neighborhood.

Pub Date: March 4th, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday