The online diary of a dreamer creating Contemporary Romantic Fiction - because Every Woman needs Love and Laughter in her Life.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Medical Romance

Did anyone listen to the ‘TODAY’ programme this morning?

I only caught a snip on the way back from food shopping and was stunned to hear that a consultant psychiatrist from Dublin has been analysing novels with a medical romance theme and had written to ‘The Lancet’ – a well respected medical journal in the UK – with his findings.

My interest was piqued.
What gems had this medical professional uncovered in his scientific investigation to make it worthy of a slot on the BBC premium morning News Programme?

For your education and delight.
Here are some SELECTED highlights from the letter by Dr Brendan Kelly from The Lancet 2007; 370:1482 [who of course own the copyright to the full text – but the article is available free of charge online to all who want to read it -*]

Medical romance
Brendan D Kelly at the Department of Adult Psychiatry, University College Dublin,
In recent decades, medical romance has emerged as a substantial subgenre within romance fiction and, to explore this area further, I studied 20 randomly selected medical romance novels.

All novels contained heterosexual romantic plots in which both protagonists were involved in medical work.

Most were set in primary care or emergency medicine settings (seven each), including emergency medicine departments (five) and airborne medical teams (two). The remainder were set in general hospitals (three) and maternity settings (three).

All central male protagonists were doctors who worked in emergency medicine (six), primary care (six), surgery (five), obstetrics/neonatology (two), or paediatrics (one). 11 central female protagonists were doctors who worked in primary care, obstetrics/neonatology, training or residency programmes, surgery, anaesthesiology, or emergency medicine.

The nine other female protagonists consisted of eight nurses and one paramedic. The most common pairing was male doctor with female doctor (11), followed by male doctor with female nurse (eight).
There was a marked preponderance of brilliant, tall, muscular, male doctors with chiselled features, working in emergency medicine; they were commonly of Mediterranean origin and had personal tragedies in their pasts.

Female doctors and nurses tended to be skilled, beautiful, and determined, but still compassionate; many had overcome substantial personal and professional obstacles in their lives. Protagonists of both sexes had frequently neglected their personal lives to care better for their patients, many of whom had life-threatening illnesses from which they nonetheless managed to recover.
These novels draw attention to the romantic possibilities of primary care settings and the apparent inevitability of uncontrolled passions in the context of emergency medicine, especially as practised on aeroplanes. These novels suggest that there is an urgent need to include instruction in the arts of romance in training programmes for doctors and nurses who intend working in these settings


Any volunteers to provide instruction?
You have to laugh.

What's playing on my YouTube right now? The West Wing to Rod Stewart


Nell said...

Oh fabbo! I love tongue in cheek stuff like this.

barbara.bergin said...

Dear Ray-Anne,
I found your blog for the first time today. I was looking for medical romance information since I have just released my first novel, Endings, which fits in that genre. I enjoyed the Lancet article by Brendan Kelly. He does seem to have made an accurate analysis of most medical romance novels I have read. Certainly he tags Endings accurately, as my female protagonist is a case study for an attractive, intelligent and compassionate physician. Why would I make her otherwise? She has had her share of trials, both in medical school and residency as well as during the course of this novel. Endings follows her as she leaves her home and practice after a tragic accident. I speak with authority on the medical aspect of Endings, since I am an orthopedic surgeon.

Do you write medical romance novels and if so, what is your twist/angle?

Barbara Bergin
author of "Endings"

Ray-Anne said...

Hello Barbara and a warm welcome.
Thank you for your comments.

No, I don't write medical romance.

Although I am a pharmacist, my career has been spent in the technical pharma industry here in Britain, so my clinical knowledge is probably 25 years out of date!

Your surgical knowledge would be a terrific asset!

I think this article was published with a good sense of humour, but it certainly made me laugh.
I would like to think I write contemp rom comedy, but since I am yet to be published, we shall see.
One of my personal interests is emergency medicine in war zones/ doctors without borders, and I may well write about that theme.

Thanks again for taking the time to leave a comment and best regards.

barbara.bergin said...

You're my first overseas internet "buddy." Thanks for getting back to me with your comments. Good luck with your writing! If there's ever anything I can do to help, please let me know.

Barbara Bergin
author of "Endings"