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Book Reviews   |    
The Evolution of Dr. Steven Pratt

by Heidi A. Wimmer; Bloomington, Indiana, AuthorHouse, 2012, 164 pages

Reviewed by Audra M. Yadack, M.D.
Psychiatric Services 2014; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.650317
View Author and Article Information

Dr. Yadack is with the Department of Psychiatry, SUNY Downstate, Kings County Hospital Center, Brooklyn, New York.

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Heidi A. Wimmer’s The Evolution of Dr. Steven Pratt tells the story of Steve and Dave, two doctors who work at Bay Shore Hospital in a mythical town called Bay Shore. Steve and Dave are best friends, and the story follows their friendship through several challenges, including medical problems, romantic dilemmas, and business decisions.

I enjoyed the characters, who portray lovable, ethical human beings. They are believable as friends and doctors in a small, tight-knit community. They have their quirks, and they make some mistakes (as we all do). However, their hearts are in the right place.

One issue I had with the book is that it is written at a fairly low reading level, with some medical vocabulary thrown into the mix. In doctoring we are encouraged to use medical terminology, and it seems the bigger the words we use, the better. The author used a limited vocabulary, but possibly she was trying to make the book accessible to a wide variety of people and not specifically medical professionals.

The book was a quick, easy read, but some details were lacking. The author is a teacher and does not have a medical background. Therefore, the book is riddled with medical and scientific errors. For example, one patient lost his vision completely because of pressure on his “optic nerve.” In reality, pressure on an optic nerve would cause a deficit in only half of the field of vision. As a physician, I found these errors distracting, and it was very difficult to get swept away by the story. Instead, I was constantly trying to use my imagination to pretend the body functioned in the way it was written in the book.

I admire the author for following her dream of writing books. Writing can be very therapeutic. I encourage all my patients who enjoy writing to write creatively or keep a journal about their various experiences in life. In conclusion, I would recommend this book to my friends and family who don't have a medical background, and I think they would like it.

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