Tuesday, May 18, 2010

‘Code Blue: Prescription for Trouble Series’ by Richard L. Mabry, MD – Book Review

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The latest book to be added to my ‘This Book Has Been Read’ list (there really is no such list, but you get my drift!) is ‘Code Blue: Prescription for Trouble Series’ by Dr. Richard Mabry.    

Here is the description of this book from the back cover:

          Who wants Dr. Cathy Sewell dead?
For Dr. Cathy Sewell, Code Blue means more than just the cardiac emergencies she faces – it’s the state of her life when the return to her hometown doesn’t bring the peace she so desperately needs.
The town doctors resent the fact that she’s not only a newcomer, but also a woman, and the devastating results from one of her prescriptions may mean the end of her practice.
As two men compete for her affection, an enemy wants her out of town – or possibly even dead.

I am always interested in a good suspense novel!

Here is the book trailer for this exciting book:

Here is the biography of Dr. Mabry:

Richard L. Mabry, M.D. is a retired physician and medical school professor who achieved worldwide recognition as a writer, speaker, and teacher before turning his talents to non-medical writing after his retirement.  He is the author of one non-fiction book [The Tender Scar: Life After the Death of a Spouse], and his inspiration pieces have appeared in numerous periodicals.  He and his wife, Kay, live in North Texas.

Dr. Sewell had returned to her hometown of Dainger, Texas after an emotionally heartbreaking breakup with Robert, the man who she thought would one day be her fiancée.  She decided to returned back home.  Shortly after her homecoming, this is how she was greeted:

The black SUV barreled out of nowhere, its oversized tires straddling the centerline.  Cathy jerked the steering wheel to the right and jammed the brake pedal to the floor.  Her little Toyota rocked as though flicked by a giant hand before it spun off the narrow country road and hurtled toward the ditch and the peach orchard beyond it. (p. 7)

That is quite an opening paragraph!  I knew I was not going to be getting a lot of sleep that night!

After an appointment with her psychiatrist, her mind was reeling as to her situation:

On the drive back from Josh’s office, Cathy finally let down her guard long enough to think about what she’d dismissed during her session.  She was sure she wasn’t imaging her problems.  The rumors circulating around town.  Her request for hospital privileges that encountered a roadblock at every turn.  The black SUV intent on her destruction.
But did they represent some kind of plot?  Or could they be unconnected, random events?  Was what she felt a simple case of paranoia?  Was she sliding into the same mental illness that had consumed her mother and threatened to tear her parents’ marriage apart?  Paranoid schizophrenia.  She remembered a line that had made her laugh during medical school.  It’s didn’t seem so funny now.  Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you.  (pp. 44-45)

In addition to the intrigue revolving around those who may be out to get her, she also had to handle a problem which some may not consider to be a problem – being pursued by two men.  However, she was very concerned about guarding her heart after the heartbreak involving her relationship with Richard; she was afraid to trust again.  The two men who were in pursuit were Dr. Marcus Bell, on staff at the hospital and the chairman of the credentials committee, and Will Kennedy, an attorney who was her sweetheart in high school who had never gotten over her. 
Dr. Sewell’s relationship with God is strained, to say the least.  Her parents had been killed in a car accident, and she blames him for the tragedy.  As is often the case, the Lord brought believers across her path in order to bring her back to Himself.  Here are the words of one of her patients:

“Please don’t worry about me.  This matter is in God’s hands.  There’s story after story in here [the Bible] where Jesus tells us that God is in charge; we’re all in His hands.  I am.  You are.  So let Him take over.  You just do your best.”  (p. 90)

That is valuable advice for all of us in all situations!

Being that pharmaceutical companies seem to have so much influence on physicians these days, I was grateful to see this assertion come from the ‘mouth’ of Dr. Sewell when she was questioned about a prescription decision she made:

“Had you been visited by a detail man from one of the pharmaceutical companies that makes this form of digitalis just before you saw Mr. Nix?”
Cathy bristled.  “I never let pressure by pharmaceutical companies influence my prescribing.  And for your information, generic drugs aren’t detailed to doctors like brand name drugs.  Maybe that’s why they’re cheaper.”

On a personal side note, I appreciate the fact that Dr. Mabry made this point in his novel.  As I have spent a great deal of time in doctors’ office waiting rooms accompanying my mother in her later years as pharmaceutical sales representatives were given preferential treatment over patients, I appreciate Dr. Mabry portraying a physician with high scruples who makes her own decisions, with being swayed by the perks given to her by a large corporation.  Not to mention standing up to the insurance companies that wanted to have her roll over and accept their lower payments in order to increase their stock values.

Okay, I am getting off my soap box now!

Here’s an exchange between Cathy and Will pertaining to what Cathy has to deal with, and how Will interprets things:

“If you have that many insurance claims to file, business must be picking up.”
“I wish.  Most of these are claims we have to re-file because the insurance company either paid incorrectly or denied improperly.  Sometimes I think they do that to hang onto their money a bit longer.  I wonder how many doctors’ offices take the denials at face value, bill the patient for the balance, and let it go at that.”
Will leaned back and crossed his legs at the ankles.  “That’s what makes you special, Cathy.  You’re not ‘most doctors.’  You take the time to care.  The folks in Dainger are lucky to have you practicing here.” (p. 183)

I really enjoyed this book!  Being that Dr. Mabry was a physician for so many years, he was able to show ‘the rest of the story’ as it relates to the life of a doctor.  He reflected the real struggles that they have to endure – fighting with insurance companies to receive what he was owed, the politics involved in getting privileges at a hospital, and all sorts of other scenarios which those of us not in the medical profession may not be aware.  At the same time, he showed God’s love and grace time and time again, especially via the hands and feet of Will and his parents.

The second book in the ‘Prescription for Trouble’ series, entitled ‘Medical Error’ will be released September 2010.  There is a bonus chapter at the end of this book, and it sounds terrific also!

You can read the first chapter of this book here.

You can order this book here.      

This book was published by Abingdon Press and generously provided by the author.


Clint Cora, Former Pharma Sales Mgr said...

I was in the pharma industry for 14 years and from my observation, doctors are not going to be swayed into using drugs that are inappropriate for patients.

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Clint -
Thanks for an insider's perspective. That's good to hear.

Richard Mabry said...

Andrea, Thanks for the review. I'm glad you enjoyed CODE BLUE. Hope you have the same reaction to MEDICAL ERROR when it comes out in September.

Andrea Schultz said...

Hi Dr. Mabry -
Thanks for stopping by! I look forward to the next one in the series!
Blessings -

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