This GEITP emailing is a bit unusual because it is a recommendation of a book on the topic of “gene-environment interactions.” Right here in the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, we have a physician-scientist –– who somehow has “enough time on his hands” to write a book of fiction called “The Perfect Dose,” which can be purchased on Amazon.com
It looks like great reading for a cold winter night, and I’m not receiving any “cut” in the royalties. What follows are two book reviews. 🙂
In ‘The Perfect Dose’, Jack Rubinstein takes us on a thrilling journey between a Midwest suburbia, the cardiology ward of a teaching hospital, and Mexico City. Thrown in is just about the right mixture of diverse and exciting characters starting with the protagonist cardiologist Dr. Mann, his Latina wife Pilar, and his science wingman. We are confronted with a new life-saving treatment in today’s environment of corporate greed and political anti-science sentiment that comes at the expense of scientific progress and healthcare.
The novel is a pleasure to read. It’s the ‘right dose’ of a realistic and livid account of the current state of biomedical research policy in the US and a story- telling that is funny and engaging. It’s a must-read for anyone who cares about a good story on the current affairs of biomedical research and health care in our times. —–Univ.-Prof. Dr. Björn Schumacher, Director, Institute for Genome Stability in Aging and Disease / Direktor, Institut für Genomstabilität in Alterung und Erkrankung, President of the German Society for Aging Research / Präsident der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Alternsforschung (DGfA), Medical Faculty / Medizinische Fakultät, University of Cologne / Universität zu Köln
Our dream as physician-scientist is to develop a drug that will cure or manage diseases. It is difficult enough to graduate from medical school and get trained as a resident and a fellow. It is doubly, and independently, difficult to train to be a scientist. Then the chances of sustaining such carreer are based on funding –– where the success rate is somewhere around 10%, depending on the times. In the rare occasion that a physician-scientist has intellectual property that can become biotech, or in alliance with pharmaceutical companies, the frustration is in the discovery that this experiece is another profession that is not similar to previous experience. Furthermore, it leads to success rate of less than 5%.
How can those facts be packaged in a way so as to inform medical students, doctors, scientists and intelligent lay people? Through this wonderful fiction is a suspenseful plot that deals, in addition to the above, with the politics of healthcare. I couldn’t stop reading The Perfect Dose book’ I felt like getting a second dose… —–Nir Barzilai MD, The Rennert Chair of Aging Research, Professor of Medicine and Genetics, Director of The Institute for Aging Research; Albert Einstein College of Medicine, New York.