ABOUT ISLAND PRACTICE:
ISLAND PRACTICE is a true tale about a colorful, contrarian doctor on the world-famous island of Nantucket. The book is in development for a TV series by Imagine Television (Ron Howard’s production company) and 20th Century Fox. They selected as screenwriter the feature film writer Amy Holden Jones, who wrote Mystic Pizza. The book has also been inspiring some very creative spin-offs: “Island Practice Bike Tours,” “Island Jazz” literary/musical events – and someone even created an Island Practice bobblehead doll. Reviews have compared ISLAND PRACTICE to Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief and John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.
Eccentric but talented, Dr. Timothy Lepore is the island’s surgeon, medical examiner, football team doctor, tick disease expert, unofficial psychologist, accidental homicide detective, and occasional veterinarian. He has performed surgery with scalpels he carved from volcanic glass; made house calls to a hermit who lived in an underground house and a vine igloo in the middle of a swamp; treated everyone from Kennedy relatives, Jimmy Buffett, and Secretary of State John Kerry (a longtime patient) to a sheep with a prolapsed uterus and a horse with suspected cyanide poisoning; and diagnosed conditions ranging from tularemia to toe-tourniquet syndrome.
All of this happens against the background of the changing and struggling American health care system. Nantucket’s hospital was taken over by a big corporate health care chain, which has imposed rules that Dr. Lepore bridles against and tries to evade. They are struggling to update and reinvent an island hospital, while they continue to lean on the never-say-no-even-if-they-can’t-pay approach of Dr. Lepore.
You can learn more on the Island Practice website (where you can find links to lots of reviews, coverage and events), here is the Island Practice Facebook page, and here a New York Times feature about the book.
I’m a staff writer for The New York Times (the NYT’s page about me is here), and my jobs at the paper have ranged from national bureau chief to my current position writing about health and science. I started my career as a Southeast Asia correspondent for The San Francisco Chronicle (freelance), living and working in the Philippines for a couple of years early in my career and still feel a deep love and connection to the country. My heart aches for what they are going through now.