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