Perhaps you know him as the CNN Doctor turned journalist; or as the embedded journalist who used his medical proficiency to save lives during the Iraq war; or even as that suave looking guy on television.
However you know him, Dr. Sanjay Gupta is one of my favorite journalists. Soon, I believe he will become one of my favorite fiction authors as well.
This week it was announced that Gupta was writing a new medical novel about something few outside the medical industry know anything about: morbidity and mortality meetings. These are the hush-hush meetings doctors have with each other about mistakes they have made. It is an opportunity for them to consult with other physicians about ways they could have done thing differently; things they learned from their mistakes.
You see, medical professionals are not perfect, although we like to think they are, or at least that they can be. But the fact is, because they are human, just like the rest of us, they make mistakes.
If I make a mistake I can hit the backspace key, or my editor will catch it and have me make a correction. If your surgeon makes a mistake (which doesn't happen often, but does happen) you might die.
I hope that Gupta will bring his keen insight and journalistic skills to bear on this project as he does with all things. I am expecting to learn something, which is usually what happens when I see a piece he has produced.
And Gupta is not stopping with a book. He is also teaming up with David E. Kelly to produce a show based on his book called, "Chelsea General" for TNT. I am even looking forward to that. Although I don't watch much scripted television I will give it a shot since Gupta's name is attached to it.
As a journalist Gupta has proven to me he can remain objective under extreme circumstance, yet retain his humanity. As a medical professional he seems aware of his own limitations and the limitations of others in his profession and is willingly to discuss these issues openly and without reserve.
I wish him much success in his future endeavors. And I hope his success serves as a beacon for future journalists and medical professionals to follow.