Cover image for The patient
Title:
The patient
Author:
Palmer, Michael, 1942-2013.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : BDD Audio, [2000]

℗2000
Physical Description:
5 audio discs (approximately 5 hrs) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.
Summary:
Dr. Jessie Copeland is a respected neurosurgeon who spends her days waging life-and-death battles in the OR and her spare time holed up in a lab, spearheading the development of a robot that could revolutionize brain surgery. It could be months before the robot is ready for use on human beings--or so Jessie thinks, until her ambitious department head jumps the gun and uses the robot in a high-profile case that nets worldwide attention.
General Note:
Abridged.

Compact disc.
Added Author:
ISBN:
9780553456752
Format :
Audiobook on CD

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Summary

Summary

His name is Artie, a miracle of bio-engineering that is about to transform the field of neurosurgery. Still, Dr. Jessie Copeland knows him better than anyone else at Eastern Mass Medical Center -- and knows it's too soon to be using the tiny robot on a living patient's brain. But Jessie's department chief is too busy to worry much about ethics. And neither of them has any idea that Artie will attract a patient from their worst nightmares.

Claude Malloche is a master assassin, more rumor than man, for whom murder is an art. No one can identify his face. Now Malloche has a deadly brain tumor, and he intends to have the best neurosurgeon in the world operate on it.

To ensure Jessie's cooperation, Malloche has devised a plan of intimidation that puts at risk her life and the lives of hundreds of innocent people. Neurosurgery requires nerves of steel, but in coming up with a scheme to fulfill her oath as a doctor yet thwart a diabolical killer, Jessie will be performing the most complex surgeryof her career -- on a knife-edge of terror.


Author Notes

Michael Palmer was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on October 9, 1942. He graduated from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He trained in internal medicine at Boston City and Massachusetts General Hospitals. Afterwards, he conducted research for the National Air Pollution Control Administration in Cincinnati in order to fulfill his two-year military obligation. He spent 20 years as a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine and is currently an associate director of the Massachusetts Medical Society's physician health program.

His has written numerous books including The Last Surgeon, The Second Opinion, The First Patient, The Fifth Vial, The Society, Fatal, The Patient, Miracle Cure, Critical Judgment, Silent Treatment, Natural Causes, Extreme Measures, Flashback, Side Effects, and The Sisterhood.

Palmer died at the age of 71 on October 30, 2013 after suffering a heart attack and stroke. His novels Resistant (released May 20, 2014) and Trauma (released May 12, 2015) were released after his death.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Palmer adds to his lengthening list of successful thrillers (most recently, Miracle Cure, 1998) with a clever blend of the spy-versus-spy and science-versus-disease subgenres. Like many thrillers, The Patient rests on "what if" speculations. What if skilled medical teams around the world were competing to perfect and patent a small robot powerful enough to destroy brain tumors without harming the brain's infinitely sensitive tissue? What if a ruthless international terrorist-for-hire developed a brain tumor that traditional neurosurgical techniques could not safely remove? After a brief stop in the heartland to establish the terrorist's brutality, Palmer's drama plays out in a Boston hospital, whose neurosurgical and robotics team attracts, first, a renegade CIA agent who lost a brother to the terrorist and has unsuccessfully trailed him for years, then the terrorist himself and his associates. Although Palmer's characters are far from multidimensional, his heroes are sufficiently empathetic--and his villains sufficiently vile--to keep readers rooting for the home team through extortion and murder, medical mayhem and medical miracles. A satisfying read that Bantam plans to back with aggressive publicity, so expect requests. --Mary Carroll


Publisher's Weekly Review

Palmer's ninth medical thriller (after Miracle Cure) probably isn't the book to be reading when you've got a slight headache. Early on, a star Olympic gymnast feels a small pain in her skull, and soon she's having a brain tumor zapped by a flashy new surgical robot. The author, who was a full-time practitioner of internal and emergency medicine for 20 years, tells readers so much about the actual work of brain surgery that some might decide to skip over a few of the more agonizing moments, such as the frenzied operation on a young boy with a bullet wound. Yet these bloody and painful details put readers firmly inside the skin of Dr. Jessie Copeland, a neurosurgeon in her 40s with a combined undergraduate degree in biology and mechanical engineering. Now working under egomaniacal chief surgeon Carl Gilbride at a top Boston hospital, Jessie gets to try out ARTIE (Assisted Robotic Tissue Incision and Extraction) on cadavers, while Gilbride coaxes foundations to cough up millions for the revolutionary new procedure. Attracted by the media attention generated by ARTIE's use (too early, Jessie thinks) on the gymnast, shadowy terrorist Claude Malloche, known as "the Mist," who also has a brain tumor, comes to the hospital for treatmentÄand winds up holding patients and staff hostage in case the operation fails. It's finally up to Jessie and a rogue CIA agent to keep everyone healthy. This graft between medical and terrorist thriller has some rough edges, but the operation is a success. Agent, Jane Rotrosen Agency. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Tiny robot ARTIE is not quite ready to perform neurosurgery. Then he attracts a master assassin with a brain tumor. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

They were nearly three hours into the operation and not one cell of the cancer had yet been removed. But by neurosurgical standards, three hours was still well within the feeling-out period--especially for a procedure involving experimental equipment. And despite huge progress recently, ARTIE most certainly remained experimental. "Let's try another set of images with enhancement of the tumor, please." To a physician, all growths, benign and malignant, were tumors, although the term "cancer" was generally reserved for malignancies--those tumors capable of spreading to distant organs. This particular cancer, a glioblastoma, was among the most virulent of all brain tumors. Staring straight ahead at the eight-inch monitor screen that was suspended from the ceiling to her eye level, Jessie Copeland set her gloved hands down on the patient's draped scalp, which was fixed by heavy screws to an immobile titanium frame. The physical contact wasn't technically necessary. From here on, ARTIE would be doing the actual surgery. But there was still something reassuring about it. "You playing gypsy fortune-teller?" Emily DelGreco asked from across the table. "I just want to make certain the guy hasn't slipped out from under the sheets, gotten up, and run away while I'm trying to decide whether or not our little robot pal is in position to begin removing this tumor. For some reason ARTIE's movements forward and left feel sluggish to me--not as responsive to the controls as I think he should be." "Easy does it, Jess," Emily said. "We always expect more from our kids than they can ever deliver--just ask mine. The sensors I'm watching, plus my monitor screen, say you and ARTIE are doing fine. If you start feeling rushed, just say 'Berenberg.' " Emily, a nurse practitioner, had been on the neurosurgical service at the Eastern Massachusetts Medical Center for several years before Jessie started her residency. The two of them, close in age if not in temperament, had hit it off immediately, and over the intervening eight years had become fast friends. Now that Jessie was on the junior faculty, Emily had moved into the tiny office next to hers and worked almost exclusively with her and her patients. Neither of them would ever forget Stanley Berenberg, one of the first brain tumor cases the two of them had done together. His operation had taken twenty-two hours. They did the delicate resection together without relief. But every minute they spent on the case proved worth it. Berenberg was now enjoying an active retirement, playing golf and carving birds, one of which--a beautifully rendered red-tailed hawk--held sway on the mantel in Jessie's apartment. "Berenberg . . . Berenberg . . . Berenberg," Jessie repeated mantralike. "Thanks for the pep talk, Em. I think ARTIE's just about ready to start melting this tumor." Jessie had decided to apply to medical school five years after her graduation from MIT with a combined degree in biology and mechanical engineering. She had spent those five years working in research and development for Globotech, one of the hottest R and D companies around. "I didn't mind making those toys," she had told neurosurgical chief Carl Gilbride at her residency interview, "but I really wanted to play with them afterwards." Under Gilbride's leadership, the Eastern Mass Medical Center's neurosurgical program, once the subject of scorn in academic circles, was a residency on the rise, drawing high-ranking applicants from the best medical schools in the country. Jessie, who was comfortably in the middle of the pack at Boston University's med school, had applied to EMMC strictly as a long shot. She was astonished when, following the interview, Gilbride had accepted her on the spot. There was, however, one proviso. She had to agree to spend a significant amount of time in his lab, resurrecting work on an intraoperative robot that a now-departed researcher there had abandoned. Working in Gilbride's lab throughout her residency while carrying a full clinical load, Jessie had learned that her boss's true forte was for self-promotion, but she had been elated to spearhead the development of ARTIE--Assisted Robotic Tissue Incision and Extraction. The apparatus was an exciting fusion of biomechanics and radiology. Now, after some preliminary animal work, she and ARTIE were finally in the OR. Over the past few years, Jessie had viewed countless video images produced by the intraoperative MRI system. What she was studying now was the continuous, three-dimensional reconstruction of the brain beneath the intact skull of the patient--images that could be rotated in any direction using a track-ball system bolted to the floor beside her foot. The on-screen presentations of the MRI data were undergoing constant improvement by the extraordinary genius geeks in Hans Pfeffer's computer lab. And Jessie could not help but marvel at the pictures they were producing. The malignant tumor and other significant structures in the brain could be demarcated electronically and colorized to any extent the surgeon wished. Jessie had always been a game player--a fierce competitor in sports, as well as in Nintendo, poker, billiards, and especially bridge. She was something of a legend around the hospital for the Game Boy that she carried in her lab coat pocket. She used it whenever the hours and tension of her job threatened to overwhelm her--usually to play the dynamic geometric puzzle Tetris. It was easy to understand why the MRI-OR setup excited her so. Operating in this milieu, especially at the controls of ARTIE, was like playing the ultimate video game. MRI--magnetic resonance imaging--had progressed significantly since its introduction in the early 1980s. But the technique had taken a quantum leap when White Memorial Hospital, the most prestigious of the Boston teaching hospitals, had designed and built an operating room around the massive MRI magnet. The key to developing the unique OR was the division of the seven-foot-high superconducting magnet into two opposing heads--"tori," the manufacturer had chosen to call them, a torus being the geometric term for any structure shaped like a doughnut. The tori were joined electronically by under-floor cables, and separated by a gap of just over two feet. It was in this narrow space that the surgeon and one assistant worked. The patient was guided into position on a padded sled that ran along a track through a circular opening in one of the magnets. Jessie understood nearly every aspect of the apparatus, but that knowledge never kept her from marveling at it. "Let's do it," she said, crouching a bit to peer under the video screen and make brief eye contact with her friend. "Everyone ready?" From the Hardcover edition. Excerpted from The Patient by Michael Palmer All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.