Given the nature of their work, medical professionals gather experiences and insights that often lend well to writing - be it novels or nonfiction. The UroToday video lectures Book Club series features prominent doctors and the books they write to share their knowledge and interests with the general public. So far, the series features the work of Steven Pantilat, Life After the Diagnosis: Expert Advice on Living Well with Serious Illness for Patient and Caregivers, Dr. J. Kellogg Parsons’ thriller novel Under the Knife, The Virility Paradox by Charles Ryan, MD, and The Key to Prostate Cancer by Mark Scholz, MD. These videos aim to give viewers further background on the books coming out in the field and the authors behind them.
In one of the featured videos, “The Virility Paradox, a Book Review with Charles Ryan,” Charles Ryan, MD, tells Kelly Parsons, MD, “All of a sudden I was struck with this impulse to write a book about testosterone.” Testosterone, he explains, is a chemical that has a vast influence on almost every aspect of life, which meant bountiful material for a book on the subject. Reflecting on his work as a medical oncologist with a focus on prostate cancer, he said “The basis of treatment for prostate cancer is androgen deprivation therapy… we take one of evolution and life’s most important chemicals… and we deplete it… that’s fascinating from an existential point of view.”
In another video, A Book Review for Kelly Parsons’ Under the Knife, Parsons comments on the impact of his book, preceded in series by his first novel, Doing Harm (with a plot praised by Stephen King). The book focuses on various aspects of medicine from the growing industry for biotechnology to “the fears that all the stakeholders have in the medical industry,” Parsons says. He comments on the influence that an interest in Science fiction and his own time as a surgeon in the operating room okayed on his ability to write a book that was believable, though fictional.
Books like The Key to Prostate Cancer and palliative care expert Steve Pantialt’s Life After the Diagnosis help patients and their loved ones better understand the meaning behind and implications of their diagnosis.
The Book Club series gives the UroToday audience novel perspectives from some of the leading minds in Urology and GU Oncology, while simultaneously addressing a side of medicine that is sometimes under represented - that which combines deep scientific understanding with humanity and art.