Red Deer general surgeon and fiction author Paul Hardy is giving readers another glimpse into medical life.
Hardy’s new novel, A Surgical Plight, is a prequel to his first book, Surgical Heights, and follows the excitement and challenges of a general surgery resident in his final year of training.
Hardy said medical fiction provides an opportunity to teach readers about medical and surgical issues, particularly since the main character is preparing for his final exam.
“That made it an easy way to explain medical terminology. The reader can understand what is happening without being lectured to by following the plot of the story,” said Hardy, 52.
“You don’t have to be a medical person to read it.”
The first book, released in 2010, focuses on the surgeon character Jim Smythe in his present day life. It includes flashbacks to his residency, and showcased the triumphs and tribulations of a general surgeon.
A Surgical Plight follows Smythe 14 years earlier when his future career is on the line.
“There’s a bit of a threat to the protagonist getting through his exams and getting out to work. It’s a bit like a suspense novel.”
Surgical Heights was inspired by real medical cases, with names and details changed. But cases in A Surgical Plight were all made up and started with choosing a diagnosis, he said.
“If anyone says they recognize that person or that case — absolutely no you don’t.”
Both books are self-published. Hardy printed 1,100 copies of his first book and as an e-book on Amazon. He said it’s selling between 100 to 150 copies a month.
A Surgical Plight will be released on Sept. 7.
Hardy will be reading from his new book at Sunworks, 4924 Ross St., at a book signing at 7 p.m. on Sept. 7. Admission is free.
For more information on other book signings and where the book will be sold, visit www.surgicalheights.com.