Medical Drama

General Hospital is the second-longest-running soap opera on TV, having first hit the air in 1963. And, of course, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, ER, Scrubs, and Nurse Jackie are just some of the other dramas churned out to satiate our unending fascination with the personal tragedies and triumphs that unfurl every day around medical professionals. Throw in the engrossing theater of health care reform (moral quandaries! Tea Party protesters! Vicious rumors!) and you have a red-hot topic on your hands. In real life, it doesn’t get more tumultuous than being an ER psychiatrist at San Francisco General Hospital. And that’s exactly what Paul R. Linde is. His book, Danger to Self, chronicles his dealings with deeply troubled patients, insurance companies, and, yes, moral quandaries. Any reader who has spent time in the emergency room of the big brick building on Potrero Avenue can probably imagine how difficult his job can be.
Tue., April 13, noon, 2010

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