Friday, January 26, 2018

Book Review: 'The Burnout Cure' by Jill Blake

California author Jill Blake is a practicing physician who brings insight to her book that addresses issues of physician burnout, depression, and suicide. Her initial idea for this novel – ‘What if a woman who is smart, mouthy, and willing to challenge the establishment decides to turn her personal tragedy into a cautionary lesson for other physicians? What if the one man who can help her spread the message is an irreverent, unapologetic chauvinist who doesn't believe in burnout? And what if they strike sparks off each other, hot enough to burn up the sheets?’ Jill has published ten romance novels – WITHOUT A NET, COMING HOME, BALANCING ACT (The Santa Monica Trilogy), TAKING A CHANCE, THIS TIME FOR KEEPS, PURSUED BY THE PLAYBOY (The Doctors of Rittenhouse Square Trilogy), SWEET INDULGENCE, BEYOND THE IVORY TOWER, A MATTER OF TRUST (The Silicon Beach Trilogy) and now THE BURNOUT CURE – Book 1 of a new Trilogy she calls A Prescription: Romance!

A physician who writes Chick Lit! Dr. Jill Blake has made a successful second career as a writer and to offer a bit of her expertise at setting a scene for a drama, the following is excerpted from Chapter One: ‘“As some of you may have noticed, I’m not Dr. Williams,” he began. “My name is Wolf Knox, and I’m a hospitalist. For anyone who’s been living under a rock for the last decade or so, a hospitalist is the guy who takes care of your patients while they’re overnight guests at St. Mary’s. Now you’re probably asking yourself: why am I here today? Putting aside the existential question—because I hear they’re kicking us out of this room at one p.m., ready or not—the reason I’m here at this podium is because Doug asked me to step in while he’s off having a baby—” “Doug’s pregnant?” someone called out from a back table. Wolf waited for the laughter to die down. “I stand corrected. Doug’s wife was the one who went into labor last night. So while Doug and the missus are busy ushering in the next generation of Williamses, I’m going to introduce a few folks who’ve traveled a long way to talk to you today. You ready? All loaded up on caffeine? Feeling a bit jittery from all that java? Well, don’t worry. Our keynote speaker is here to share her secrets about relaxation. Which, for those of you keeping track of this sort of thing, is the keyword of the day. Come on, folks, say it with me. Reee-laaax-aaa-tion. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the free yoga and meditation session in the courtyard after lunch.”… “Sorry, folks, looks like the yoga session’s been canceled. The Physician Health Committee will work on getting it rescheduled, once Dr. Williams returns from paternity leave. In the meantime, please help me welcome Dr. Lily Reid, who comes to us straight from a sold-out engagement on the lecture circuit. In case you’re wondering why Dr. Reid is so popular, here’s the twenty-second version of her CV.” He retrieved Doug’s notes from his pocket and smoothed out the creases. “Dr. Reid received her medical degree and Master of Public Health from UCSD. She joined the RAND Corporation seven years ago, where she is now a research fellow in healthcare policy. Her articles on health and wellness have been published in top medical journals as well as the lay press, and she is a regular talking head—uh, guest—on radio and cable TV news. Please put your hands together for Dr. Lily Reid.” A flurry of movement along the far wall caught Wolf’s attention. This was Lily Reid? She wore a pencil skirt that ended just above the knee, a white button-down shirt, and a black belt that emphasized her narrow waist. With her auburn hair slicked back into a neat bun, a single strand of pearls around her neck, and those red, red lips, she was the embodiment of every sexy librarian fantasy he’d had as an adolescent.’

And Jill moves from that clever into into the plot as summarized: ‘When it comes to burnout, Lily Reid is an expert. Determined to turn her personal tragedy into a cautionary lesson for other physicians, she travels the country, lecturing about life balance and stress management. But her words fall on deaf ears—until she hits on a plan to appeal to a broader audience. Enter Wolf Knox, aka “Wolfman MD.” He’s gorgeous, charismatic, and his patients love him. So do millions of fans who follow him online, watching the music video parodies he makes in his spare time. Too bad Wolf believes “burnout” is synonymous with weakness. His motto? Suck it up—and if you can't handle the pressure, get out of medicine. As Lily and Wolf clash over plans for a joint project, their mutual disdain gives way to desire. But when a fellow physician’s suicide forces them to confront their own fears and prejudices, will their fledgling relationship survive?’

Naughty? Yes, but also rich in humor and character development and some fine insights into Medicine today. There is a good reason her books sell so well! Grady Harp, December 17

Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.