Share This Episode
Our American Stories Lee Habeeb Logo

Robin Cook: The American Physician Who Wrote Coma Underwater

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb
The Truth Network Radio
September 18, 2023 3:02 am

Robin Cook: The American Physician Who Wrote Coma Underwater

Our American Stories / Lee Habeeb

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 2162 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.


September 18, 2023 3:02 am

On this episode of Our American Stories, Robin Cook is best known for his novel, Coma. The book was published in 1977, and premiered as a movie the next year. Robin is here to share his life story with us, including how Coma came to be… underwater, of all places. 

Support the show (https://www.ouramericanstories.com/donate)

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Chief White House Correspondent Kristin Welker joins me now. From across the nation.

What is the number one issue for you? To the national stage. And I welcome you to the final 2020 presidential debate. When critical votes were counted. Still too close to call. And when power was held to account.

Is abuse of power an impeachable offense? Kristin Welker met the moment. Now she joins Meet the Press as its new moderator. If it's Sunday, it's Meet the Press.

Sundays on NBC. State Farm is committed to being your top choice when ensuring the things that matter to you. My cultura podcast host, Dramos, also believes in the power of financial knowledge.

That's why he makes sure to share his financial tips on his podcast, Life as a Gringo. When it comes to investments and it's real estate, I didn't want to just buy a house. I wanted to buy a property that also made me money.

So I ended up buying an investment property, a mixed use property. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Learn more at es.statefarm.com.

State Farm is a proud partner of the My Cultura podcast network. When you're an American Express Platinum card member, the trip starts in the Centurion Lounge. And as you enjoy the chef's local dish, you think what'll be on the menu for your layover.

See how to elevate your travel at americanexpress.com slash with Amex. Don't live life without it. Terms apply. Hey, can I let you in on a little secret? Oh, I'm obsessed with the Drop app. Drop makes it so easy to score free gift cards just for doing my everyday shopping at places like Ulta, Sam's Club, and Lyft. So if you're like me and love a good shopping spree, download Drop today and join the secret club of savvy shoppers.

And use my code getdrop999 to get $5. Nissan's electric vehicles run on a special electricity. Not the electricity that turns on light bulbs or runs through your outlets. I'm talking that spine tingling goose bump feeling that electrifies your body and soul. It could be the simple win of leaving on time for your morning commute or scoring the largest deal of your career. Nissan is continuously evolving and changing the game through electric vehicle engineering because the electricity of their cars not only moves engines, it also moves the emotions of those who drive them.

To learn more about Nissan's electric vehicle lineup, visit www.NissanUSA.com. This is Lee Habib and this is Our American Stories, the show where America is the star and the American people. Up next comes to us a story from Robin Cook. You know the name. He's the author of 38 best-selling books, a giant in the literary and publishing field, but the one he is best known for is his second book, Coma, the first true medical thriller ever released. Today he's sharing with us his personal story, his life story. Here's Robin. I was born in Brooklyn and immediately exported to Queens and then moved over to New Jersey when I was eight.

You know, I have to say that I think that I'm a particularly lucky person because everything happened seemed at the right time. If I had continued to grow up in Woodside, Queens, in that environment, my life I think would have been completely different. In fact, when I think back on it, I might now be, I'd probably be fairly successful, but I'd be really involved in organized crime. I can remember the older kids teaching us young kids how to steal from the store and they like to use us young kids because I guess the store proprietor, particularly the candy store, was less suspicious of young kids, you know, in kindergarten. And so the older kids would get us to go in and whatnot. We had what we called the alley behind the house. It was all row house. So you had an alley behind. And that was where at that time parents just opened the door, let the kids out into the alley. And we had full run of the alley from a very, very early age.

And we had all sorts of games that we played in that part of my life. I remember with great fondness, but I also realized how lucky it was that my father's business did well enough that we realized that we could move out of our apartment in Woodside, Queens. My father's, what he wanted most, was a place to build a house that had a view. So he found a place over New Jersey up on a hill and he bought this plot of land because it had a view, looking West out over New Jersey.

My parents never looked into this town, what the town was like, but it turns out that it was really lucky because the town was fabulous. And what was phenomenal about Leoni, New Jersey is it was sort of like a bedroom community for a lot of academic institutions, Columbia University, the Museum of Natural History, the Metropolitan Museum of Art. So my friends' parents, a lot of them were involved in these very academic things, including my best friend. His father was head of dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History. Can that be any better for a kid in the fifth, sixth grade? And so we would go practically every Saturday to the Museum of Natural History. We got to go behind the scenes to see how they take these huge blocks of stone, bring them back to the museum, and then carve out these dinosaur bones and then figure out how the animal lived and what it ate. So that was our Saturday mornings, but there were other people there.

Two, four or five physicists on the Manhattan Project came from Leoni, New Jersey. My next door neighbor was Buddy Hackett, and he took a great liking to me, and I babysat for his kids. And because of that, I met a lot of the people like Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra because I was the babysitter. And Buddy Hackett had a miniature car collection.

And as a teenager, I got my license. My father wouldn't allow me to even back the family car out of the garage. I had to wash it, but I couldn't back it. He'd back it out, and then I'd wash it.

But Buddy Hackett noticed this. He didn't say very much, but then he started offering and allowing me to drive his cars to my high school dances. So I got to, and he had a Corvette, a Jaguar, and a brand new black Bonneville.

At that time, that was really the cat's meow. It was quite an amazing time and circumstance. Plus, the school system was fantastic. It was a school system that was way ahead of its time in terms of experimenting with rapid learner courses or advanced placement courses.

And I was part of a study, almost. Myself and three or four or five of us were taught what they called the new math then. And so the amount of math that I had when I graduated from high school was really quite exceptional. So I think of myself as particularly lucky because it wasn't that my parents looked into this and said, we have to find a great school system. I just found myself in this great school system. In a town, a small town that's a mile square that had phenomenal, interesting people. I didn't realize it at the time, but because the school system was good, because the kids were motivated, I was motivated.

I'm a competitive person, athletically competitive, but also competitive in an intellectual sense. And here I was in this great school system, and here I was in this great environment. The information was there. We had a wonderful library. After school, we would often go to the library at a very young age.

I started reading all sorts of fiction books at a very young age. I had found myself in a public school where academic effort counted. And what a difference that makes because then when it came to going to college, it was never any thought that I wouldn't go to college. I have to admit, I didn't do a very good job picking a college because I was too busy.

I was on this committee and on that committee and this council and that council. And I was the valedictorian in the school and I played sports. And I remember suddenly I said, oh my gosh, I'm supposed to tell the guidance counselor where I want to go to college and I have to do it tomorrow. And I remember going down into the basement to get something in our house. And on the way up, on the stairs, there was a box and it said Yale Lock. And I said, oh, okay, that's telling me something.

So when I went in the next day, I said, I want to go to Yale. And when we come back, more of the story of author Robin Cook, 38 bestsellers and where he grew up. More of Robin Cook's story here on Our American Stories. Give a little, give a lot.

Go to ouramericanstories.com and give. On his podcast, Life as a Gringo, Host Dramos talks about money management, investments and the steps he's taken to work towards his financial goals. State Farm is committed to being your top choice when ensuring the things that matter to you.

You take care of yourself and your loved ones. Let State Farm provide you with that support. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Learn more at es.statefarm.com.

State Farm is a proud partner of the Michael Tura Podcast Network. Getting ready for a job interview is stressful. Remembering your talking points, dodging nerves and of course you just spilled coffee on your shirt. But hey, at least planning ahead is one of your skills and you already booked an Uber Reserve ride. Schedule a ride up to 90 days in advance. Plus drivers will wait up to 15 minutes after the planned pickup time. Let Uber Reserve handle the ride there so you can stay in the zone. Uber Reserve, get your ride right.

It's the app for details. Around the NFL and the NFL Podcast Network are brought to you by the first ever Toyota Grand Highlander. It's over here on Falcon's Corner. I'm locking up the Falcons. Let's go. I like it. That's a good luck. Greg is a large reason, but we love to hear from Greg, but like there's a large reason why the show will go 75 minutes. I try to humor Greg when he says that.

I go, okay. I'm in it to win it. I did win the title two years ago.

I want it back to make it two out of three. I'm locking up the Chiefs and Arrowheads. It's a dork dream. Fangio versus Kellen Moore. Those are two of the dorks absolute favorites. And then Mike McDaniel versus Staley. Who's like the king of the dorks in the NFL. I'm locking up Seattle. I don't care what anyone says. Fun little game.

This works out well for you. It's your little pet team. I'm coming for you, Greg.

I actually think Matt Jones in San Francisco would have worked out like really well. What we saw last year was just part one. What is part two of this offense? Let's go places.

Learn more at toyota.com slash grand highlander. This content brought to you by Delimax. There's nothing like coming home and hearing the words. I made Delimax taquitos for the game tonight. Because just one bite of a crunchy Delimax taquito and the taste takes me away to Mexico and it's delicious street food. Beef taquitos, chicken taquitos, made with maize or flour tortillas. Rolled tacos with beef and cheddar and corn tortillas. That irresistible blend of flavorful spices. Feeling the sun on my face as I stroll along, listening to the music, mingling with the crowd. Another Delimax taquito?

Sure, I'll take one. Mmm, I savor that perfectly seasoned beef, the delicious chicken and melty cheese, and I hear cheering? And I realize I'm at home with the family watching the ballgame.

Which is also pretty awesome. Quality ingredients are what make Delimax America's number one taquito. Viva delicious Mexican. Viva Delimax. Learn more at delimax.com.

That's T-E-L-I-M-E-X.com. Claimed based on I-R-I sales data of the last 52 weeks. And we're back with Our American Stories and with Robin Cook. When we last left off, he had just told his school counselor that he wanted to go to Yale for college. A decision he'd made because of a Yale walk he'd seen in his basement the night before.

Let's return to Robin. And the counselor said, good choice, that's fine, you know, and everything else. And so we went ahead and applied and did all that sort of stuff. And I was accepted. But then I got invited to Wesleyan for their equivalent of their athletic, they don't give athletic scholarships, but there was always a weekend where there was the home football game and people who were on the football team had an opportunity to invite kids from their former high school. And I got invited to Wesleyan for the weekend. And I was very much interested in these two guys that had been in our high school. I knew them vaguely, but why I was so interested is both of them were pre-meds. And at that point I was pre-med, I wanted to be pre-med.

So, you know, I responded to that invitation. I went to Wesleyan for a weekend and seemed fabulous. And I was taken and I went back and then applied to Wesleyan and got to Wesleyan. Even that, I think, again, that I'm a very lucky person because it turned out that Wesleyan was a particularly good choice for me.

Not that Yale wouldn't have been, although I probably wouldn't have been able to make the football team at Yale. The reason that Wesleyan turned out to be such a good place for me to be is because it had a very unique program that ultimately played quite a big role, I think, in my life. And that was, if you did well enough, and at Wesleyan I did very well, like I did in high school, I really applied myself. And if you did well at Wesleyan, you were invited in your senior year to take part in what they call the Honors College. And the Honors College gave you the opportunity to write an undergraduate thesis.

And I decided, hey, why not do this? Now, why I thought I could do that is, first of all, I realized that I wouldn't get graded until after I was accepted at medical school. Plus, I had taken so many extra courses that I could have graduated probably somewhere in my junior year.

Because since I was paying for college, I realized that the more courses I took, the cheaper they were. And so, anyway, prior to that, I think the longest paper I had written maybe was like five pages, which seemed terribly long, or ten pages maybe at the most. And I wrote significantly more than a hundred pages. So, but why that is so significant for me is because later on in my life, when I decided, wouldn't it be interesting to try to use fiction and entertainment as a way of getting people to understand medical, social, and biotechnical issues to try to use entertainment. And the reason why I came to that thought was because having read a number of books about being a doctor, and seen a number of TV shows and movies about being doctors, that after I got into medical school, I realized that, all those books that I had read, all those shows that I had watched, were not accurate.

They missed the mark. And they were glorifying medicine, putting it on a pedestal, and yet it was very apparent to me, right from day one, that medicine in a lot of ways was going in the wrong direction. It was being influenced too much by business interests, and moving over to the medical school, and moving away from its 19th century roots of taking care of people. But since I had taken that opportunity to write that thesis of 100 pages, I thought, well, hey, I did it once.

Why couldn't I do it again? Why can't I write a book about medicine? But the only trouble was that I decided this in medical school, and I had no time in medical school. In fact, I had no time for anything in medical school. Medical school alone was obviously very time consuming, but I also had to pay my way. So I had to have, I had multiple jobs, not only all through college, but also multiple jobs at medical school. When I first got to medical school, first thing I did was run around and look at all sorts of ads and stuff for jobs that I could somehow do along with being a medical student.

And I found lots of jobs. I was the first one, I think, at Columbia who wanted to work in the cafeteria in the dorm. I would serve the food in the food line, and my fellow students were all coming in. And I remember feeling sorry for myself in some respects because I could see out through this little window that they were out there talking about the day and probably talking about what they had learned and exchanging ideas, and I was wishing I was out there.

But I also tried to make it as much fun as I could. I would bring out two separate bowls of the same vegetable. And they, of course, would never look at the menu and say, what's tonight? I'd say, well, we have some interesting things. And I said, well, we have some carrots here. We have two different types of carrots.

We have truck farm carrots, and we have large farming carrots. And I said, well, what's the difference? And I said, well, you know, providing a medical student with a decision would stop the line. But it was a way for me to entertain myself. But I did everything. I drew blood. I cleaned animal cages.

All these jobs weren't the best, but I took as many as I could. And it actually turns out that I was lucky that I had to work, because had I not had to work, like all my fellow medical students, I wouldn't have had a certain opportunity that presented itself. And that was that the professor who was in charge of the lab in the hospital, he was a friend of Jacques Cousteau. And of course, Jacques Cousteau was someone everybody knew. He was quite famous, et cetera. And Jacques Cousteau was about to do an experiment where he was having divers live underwater. And they were going to live at one atmosphere pressure that is 33 feet down. But one of the things that you really had to know is physiologically what the blood gases are doing.

He had no idea. And this professor told Jacques Cousteau that you really need to know. So I got asked if I would be willing to go over to the south of France and set up a lab for Jacques Cousteau.

And I thought about it for about five minutes. And I get one month off from medical school every year. And I'd have one month I could select as an elective. So I put these two months together during my summers as a medical student. And I spent these time in Monaco where the Oceanographic Institute is. And then I flew over and put the lab together and then trained this French fellow exactly how to use the equipment, et cetera. I stayed then for the two months and then I came back the next summer and the next summer.

And so, which was really interesting because I was this destitute medical student and I was spending my summers on the Riviera. And you're listening to Robin Cook share his story. And my goodness, what a story it is. It should be a book all by itself. And by the way, Robin is the author of 38 bestsellers as I've said before. And his latest is called Night Shift. And go to bookstores, go to Amazon, pick it up. It's as good as anything he's written. And by the way, he's blessed time and again not just in the little town he grows up but he goes to Wesley and he's working hard. And in comes this guy who knows Jacques Cousteau. And the next thing you know, he's in Monaco doing tests on how human beings can thrive or not living underwater. When we come back, more of Robin Cook's story here on Our American Stories. After your first bite, you say nothing because you're speechless.

See how to elevate your dining experiences at americanexpress.com slash with Amex. Don't live life without it. Terms apply. Stay farm knows it's important to help folks manage the risks of everyday life while also getting them closer to realizing their dreams. Those dreams can include attaining financial knowledge, freedom, and empowerment. On his podcast, Life as a Gringo, Host Dramos talks about money management, investments, and the steps he's taken to work towards his financial goals. State Farm is committed to being your top choice when ensuring the things that matter to you.

You take care of yourself and your loved ones. Let State Farm provide you with that support. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Learn more at es.statefarm.com.

State Farm is a proud partner of the Maecultura podcast network. Vacations can be stressful, even when you've thought of every little detail down to the matching mouse ear shaped hats. Fortunately, you'll avoid parking struggles because you booked an Uber Reserve ride in advance for the whole family. Schedule a ride with Uber Reserve up to 90 days in advance. Plus, you can plan your ride in as little as 30 minutes before your pickup time. Let Uber Reserve make your Orlando vacation more enjoyable. Uber Reserve, get your ride right. See app for details.

Around the NFL and the NFL podcast network are brought to you by the first ever Toyota Grand Highlander. It's over here on Falcon's Corner. I'm locking up the Falcons. Let's go. I like it. That's a good luck. Greg is a large reason, but we love to hear from Greg, but like there's a large reason why the show will go 75 minutes. I try to humor Greg when he says that.

I go, okay. I'm in it to win it. I did win the title two years ago.

I want it back to make it two out of three. I'm locking up the Chiefs and Arrowhead. It's a dork dream. Fangio versus Kellen Moore. Those are two of the dorks absolute favorites. And then Mike McDaniel versus Staley. King of the dorks in the NFL. I'm locking up Seattle. I don't care what anyone says. Fun little game.

This works out well for you. It's your little pet team. I'm coming for you, Greg.

I actually think Mac Jones in San Francisco would have worked out like really well. What we saw last year was just part one. What is part two of this offense? Let's go places.

Learn more at Toyota.com slash Grand Highlander. This content brought to you by Deli-Mex. There's nothing like coming home and hearing the words because just one bite of a crunchy Deli-Mex taquito and the taste takes me away to Mexico and its delicious street food, beef taquitos, chicken taquitos made with maize or flour tortillas, rolled tacos with beef and cheddar and corn tortillas, that irresistible blend of flavorful spices. Feeling the sun on my face as I stroll along, listening to the music, mingling with the crowd. Another Deli-Mex taquito?

Sure, I'll take one. I savor that perfectly seasoned beef, the delicious chicken and melty cheese, and I hear cheering and I realize I'm at home with the family watching the ballgame, which is also pretty awesome. Quality ingredients are what make Deli-Mex America's number one taquito. Viva delicious Mexican. Viva Deli-Mex. Learn more at Deli-Mex.com. That's T-E-L-I-M-E-X.com.

Claimed based on I-R-I sales date of the last 52 weeks. And we return to our American stories and to Robin Cook's story. And he's sharing in the end his own, well, memoir. It's his life story he's sharing with us now.

Let's pick up where we last left off. After graduating from medical school, I decided to do a residency in surgery because I thought I wanted to become a surgeon. I had worked for the open heart surgical team, so I got to know these very, very high ranking heart surgeons who were really monumental in creating the opportunity to do open heart. Dr. Mom and Dr.

Bowman. And as a medical student, I got to meet them. And no other medical students got to meet them. And interesting enough that when you finish medical school, you have to apply to your training program. You have to try to apply to a residency. And the competition actually ratchets upward and it's very competitive to get into certain hospitals.

So you have to be really on top of your game. And one of the things that really helped is very good letters of recommendation. I asked these top heart surgeons, I asked the top one, if he'd write me a letter of recommendation for my residency. And he said he would, which is phenomenal. And anyway, he wrote me the letter of recommendation.

It was very glowing. And I was thinking that I would go to Columbia, stay at Columbia and I applied to several others like the Massachusetts General Hospital because I heard that was fantastic. But the day before, the night before, I guess, when you actually had to put in your list, which one you want, I had a very good friend in medical school. And he and I talked about the next couple of years being residents and we were both going to do surgery. And it was his suggestion first.

You know, he started, he's saying, you know, what about breaking this sort of expected route? What about going someplace where we could have some fun when we have time off? And we started talking about going to the University of Hawaii. We stayed up really late talking about this and doing something really unique.

There was a sudden great attraction. And because we both said, let's do it, and we put University of Hawaii first. And of course, the University of Hawaii was not one of these top places.

And it had never gotten medical students from any of the Ivy League medical schools. We were, of course, we were accepted. And I remember that this big heart surgeon found out about it and found out that he had written a letter of recommendation and that I was going to the University of Hawaii. He was so furious that the next time he saw me, he stuck his finger in my chest. He yelled at me that I would dare to go to the University of Hawaii. That I would dare to ask him to write a letter of recommendation to such a school.

And he told me his last words were, let me tell you something, it's easy to drop out of the big leagues, but you never come back. And I thought, oh, I guess I made a mistake. But in retrospect, it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I went to University of Hawaii, the two of us, and we were both good students. And we essentially took over that surgery department. We were only interns. I took over, essentially I took over the intensive care, the surgical intensive care unit.

I applied for and got a license in Hawaii. And the hospital was very proud of us. And as far as you can drop out of the big leagues, you never get back. After I finished my surgical training, I remember finishing my, I don't know how many gall bladders, and walked out. And I remember thinking, gosh, almost I'm done.

And I just didn't feel any terrible euphoria. And there was always this room across the way, another surgical operating room, operating room that always seemed to be dark. You know, you have the little window and it was always dark. I never knew what they did in there.

So this day, it was very close to the end. I went over there and I cracked open the door and a little bit of Mozart came out. And the nurse came running over, the circulating nurse, what, can I help you?

And I said, yeah, what are they doing in here? And he said, oh, we're doing a retinal detachment surgery. And I looked in, I could see the surgeon there. And the thing that impressed me the most is he was sitting down while he was operating.

I had just been, you know, three hours standing there doing a gallbladder operation. And that was when I decided, you know, ever since I've been little, I wanted to be an ophthalmologist. So I quickly applied to ophthalmology training programs. I applied to the Mass Eye and Ear Mass General, the Harvard system. And I applied to the University of California, San Francisco. I was, in fact, I was accepted at both. And I can remember hearing Dr.

Mom saying, you can drop out of the big leagues, but you never get back. And I thought, I'm going to love going to New York and see if he's still there. I never did that. But in between my surgical residency and my ophthalmology residency, the Vietnam War was firing up. And so when I finished my surgical residency, I got a notice from the Navy that I was being drafted and that I was assigned to the Marines. And I was going to go to Da Nang as a surgeon.

Now, I was not excited about that idea. And I remembered something that had happened to me on one of those idyllic summers in the south of France. And that is a Captain Bond from the United States Navy visited. And he was running what was called at that time the Sea Lab. And that was where the United States was, similar to what Cousteau was doing. He came over because he was very interested in this conch shell 3 experiment that Cousteau was doing and wanted to find out all the details, et cetera. And I guess the Cousteau plus Navy guys loved to do boondoggles.

And I'm sure that was considered a boondoggle by him coming over and going on the calypso. And so I was on the calypso with him and sort of helped a little bit. But when he left, he gave me a real Navy handshake. And he said, thanks, young man. He said, if you ever find yourself in the Navy, give me a call. And I thought to myself at the time, there's no chance I'm going to be in the Navy.

But it's nice to hear things like that. Well, lo and behold, five or six or seven or how many years it was later in the Navy, assigned to the Marines, I'm going to Da Nang, and I called him up. And I asked him if he remembered me. And he said, of course, I remember you. I said, well, you said to give you a call if I ever found myself in the Navy.

I said, I'm in the Navy. He said, oh, wonderful, wonderful. He said, oh, I'll get you here in our program if you want.

I said, well, yeah, that would be terrific. And you're listening to Robin Cook tell a heck of a story about serendipity, about going against the grain, about following your instincts, and, well, just meeting people and following them down and making a good impression on people and staying with them and the amazing things that happen in his life because of the people he meets and the trust they put in him and the trust he puts in them, his and his best friend's decision to go to Hawaii and not go to the big leagues and ultimately working his way right back in. When we come back, more of the story of best selling author Robin Cook and his latest is Night Shift.

Again, go to Amazon or the usual suspects wherever you get your books. More of Robin Cook's life story here on Our American Stories. State Farm knows it's important to help folks manage the risks of everyday life while also getting them closer to realizing their dreams. Those dreams can include attaining financial knowledge, freedom, and empowerment.

On his podcast, Life as a Gringo, host Dramos talks about money management, investments, and the steps he's taken to work towards his financial goals. Financial freedom usually means having enough savings, financial investments, and cash on hand to afford the kind of life we desire for ourselves and our families. I think, first and foremost, talking about having enough savings because I think when you are living check to check, that's where the stress comes from. And I know for me, having that savings account has been one of the things that brings me peace in this life. State Farm is committed to being your top choice when ensuring the things that matter to you.

You take care of yourself and your loved ones. Let State Farm provide you with that support. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Learn more at es.statefarm.com.

State Farm is a proud partner of the Michael Dura Podcast Network. Vacations can be stressful, even when you've thought of every little detail down to the matching mousier-shaped hats. Fortunately, you'll avoid parking struggles because you booked an Uber Reserve ride in advance for the whole family. Schedule a ride with Uber Reserve up to 90 days in advance. Plus, drivers will wait up to 15 minutes after the planned pickup time. Let Uber Reserve make your Orlando vacation more enjoyable. Uber Reserve, get your ride right.

See app for details. I'm locking up the Chiefs and Arrowheads. It's a dork dream. Fangio versus Kellen Moore. Those are two of the dorks' absolute favorites. And then Mike McDaniel versus Staley. Who's like the king of the dorks in the NFL. I'm locking up Seattle. I don't care what anyone says. Fun little game. This works out well for you, two of your little pet teens. I'm coming for you, Greg.

I actually think Mac Jones in San Francisco would have worked out really well. What we saw last year was just part one. What is part two of this offense? Let's go places.

Learn more at toyota.com slash grand highlander. Feeling the sun on my face as I stroll along, listening to the music, mingling with the crowd. Another Delimex taquito?

Sure, I'll take one. I savor that perfectly seasoned beef, the delicious chicken and melty cheese, and I hear cheering. And I realize I'm at home with the family watching the ballgame, which is also pretty awesome. Quality ingredients are what make Delimex America's number one taquito. Viva delicious Mexican. Viva Delimex. Learn more at delimex.com.

That's D-E-L-I-M-E-X dot com. Claimed based on IRI sales date of the last 52 weeks. Football's more fun when you're in on the action, so download the app now and sign in with the code bobbysports to sign up. New customers can bet just five dollars and get 200 instantly in bonus bets only on DraftKings Sportsbook, an official sports betting partner of the NFL with the code bobbysports.

The crown is yours. Gambling problem, 1-800-GAMBLER, or visit www.1-800-GAMBLER.net. In New York, call 877-8-HOPE-IN-WIRE, text HOPE-IN-Y-467-369. In Connecticut, help is available for problem gambling. Call 888-789-7777, or visit www.ccpg.org.

Please play responsibly. On behalf of Bootheel Casino & Resort KS, licensee partner, Golden Nugget, Lake Charles, Louisiana. 21-plus age varies by jurisdiction. Void in Ontario. See sportsbook.draftkings.com slash football terms for eligibility terms and responsible gambling resources.

Bonus bets expire seven days after issuance, eligibility, and deposit restrictions apply. And we're back with our American stories and with Robin Cook. When we last left off, Robin had just been drafted into the Marines. And by the way, during the Vietnam War, he was not thrilled, but he had an opportunity to join a very unique program due to a prior relationship.

Let's return to Robin. He told me I had to volunteer for submarine school. So I did. And so I was in Groton, Connecticut, and I went to submarine school. And then I called him up and I said, I finished submarine school. He said, now volunteer for deep sea diving school. So I went to Washington then deep sea diving school and graduated from that. And then I called him up.

He said, all right, now you're ready for UDT Mark 9 training, which is a type of re-breathing apparatus. And then when I finished all that, I was ready to become part of the sea lab as one of the aquanauts. I realized that I had become very enamored of the whole submarine situation. And I don't know what possessed me, but I really thought that it would be a crime not to actually go out on a real patrol and see what this is really like. And I told the Captain Bond, I said, you know, I'd really like to go out on them and do a regular operational patrol. He thought I was crazy.

But anyway, so that's what I did. I got shipped out to Hawaii. I was in Hawaii. So I went out on a patrol, a real patrol. And we were underwater for 75 days.

We didn't come to the surface the whole time. It was a very interesting circumstance. And it turned out, again, to be really lucky because I don't think I'd ever have a better place if I had this idea about writing a book.

What better place? I mean, you're not bothered by the sun coming up or going down. So I did write my novel underwater. The idea was to show how a personality changes when they go through the very difficult hazing that's done in medicine, which is also done in the military. It's not a good program. And it doesn't really foster the kind of personality traits that make people a good doctor.

I think most doctors have to recover from it rather than it making them, helping them to be a good doctor. So when I came off that submarine, I had to climb up the ladder, you know, like in the movies, clutching my handwritten novel. I got up on deck. Somebody said, what is that?

What are you holding? I said, that's, I wrote a novel. And they said, oh, really? And they said, did you know that it's really hard to get a novel published? And I said, no, is it? I was so convinced that it was going to get published.

It just never occurred to me. So then I was presented with a major problem. If it's difficult to get a book published, what am I going to do? So you look in the writer's guide, and it says that none of the large publishers want you to send manuscripts to them.

They only accept records that are in the book. They requested manuscripts. So how do you get a manuscript requested?

That was a question. So I came up with a sort of a novel idea of approaching a number of different editor types with the idea of getting them to want to see mine instead of me just sending it in and it just coming in over the threshold. And what happens at most publishing houses is that the 22-year-old woman who graduated from Smith with literary and wants to get into publishing is sitting at the front desk, and she reads it.

And she's the one that tells no. So I composed a very careful letter over a long period of time that I then started to send to editors. And I knew it had to be short, had to grab their interest somehow. So I turned my manuscript into a solicited one. I started getting returns from editors saying, sounds interesting, yeah, send it in. And so my first book became a solicited manuscript and lo and behold, I was offered a deal fairly quickly. And then, of course, I had to take that editor, in a sense, the course of creative writing that I never took. The book was published, but then there was a bigger problem.

And the bigger problem was that nobody bought it. When that book came out, I had just started my residency in ophthalmology in Boston. And the retina doctors were shocked that I wrote a novel. I mean, that's ridiculous, particularly a novel where I was sort of suggesting or complaining about hazing.

And I was back as a first year resident, so I was going to be hazed to some degree. Although, I got a little bit more respect because I had already done a surgical residency, and that didn't happen that often. But anyway, they gave me a lot of ribbing about it, that I was making this complaining novel and be a man, a surgeon, and so then I thought, well, what am I going to do?

Should I just give up on this idea? How do I now make a book that's going to be successful, that people will want to read? And so, I guess the case method is that I should study successful books. And there were several that jumped out at me that had been written by heretofore unknown authors that were very successful. And the two that I chose was Jaws and Love Story. And so, I then spent quite a while really investigating exactly how those projects happened and put together. Both of them were written as screenplays first, and it was a combination of Hollywood and the publishing industry that kind of made the whole project a success.

So, I ended up deciding that I would follow that same process. I would write a screenplay of what I considered would be a good medical mystery thriller that would get people's attention. And it seemed to me that was easy because people had an idea about medicines that were wrong.

And how can I undermine that in a way that would get their attention? And that was the origin of coma. So, I put it all together, wrote it as a screenplay, and then as soon as I had a contract for the book, which I was only offered an advance of $10,000. But way before the hardcover came out, I sold the paperback rights for $1 million. I got an agent, and then Hollywood hearing this kind of stuff.

I had people very interested, and I had some choices. And I knew at that point that it was going to be a movie. And I held out for Michael Crichton to be the director because I was friends with Michael, and he had gone to medical school, and I knew I was afraid Hollywood would take it. And it wasn't meant as a horror story.

I wanted to be serious. And there were several other directors who really wanted to do it, but I sort of held out for Michael. I suddenly, I was still a resident, first-year resident, and suddenly I was invited. The guy who was going to be the producer, Marty Ehrlichman, happened to also be the manager of Barbara Streisand. Barbara Streisand had just finished a movie with Kris Kristofferson, and I got invited to the world premiere. So here I was, a first-year resident in ophthalmology, and I was sitting at the head table with Barbara Streisand and Kris Kristofferson. And I had a sense that coma was going to do really well. It's really been an amazing experience, and people became very interested in medical thrillers after coma, because there's no other issue that affects people so closely, because we're all patients, and we could be a patient tomorrow. That's why I still think my only hope is to sort of try to get the public behind, and how are they going to learn about these things?

And the only way I know, really, is by trying to get them involved and interested in fiction and movies and TV series, etc., that show this other side, because I really feel that medicine has to return to recognizing its real goal. A terrific job on the production and storytelling by Madison Derricotte, and a special thanks to Robin Cook, 38 bestsellers to his name. His latest is called Night Shift. Go to Amazon, go to your bookstore, wherever you get your books. And my goodness, that he finds himself in a submarine for 75 days.

Well, all of that time, no day, no night. And when he finds failure, the book gets published, he just starts to study and figure out how to turn that failure into his success. The story of Robin Cook, a chemistry, math, and theology professor, and physics major turned best-selling author, here on Our American Stories. Network shouldn't either. Learn more at T-Mobile.com slash now. Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. Learn more at es.statefarm.com.

State Farm is a proud partner of the Michael Tura Podcast Network. Throughout history, electricity has inspired some pretty incredible inventions, like smartphones and those little robot vacuums people name like pets. But of all the great things, nothing compares to the Hyundai IONIQ 5. 100% electric, two-way charging capability, and up to a 300-mile range. The Hyundai IONIQ 5, your journey at its most evolved. 2023 IONIQ 5 is available at select dealers and select states only. Contact your Hyundai dealer for availability details. The IONIQ 5 SE SEL and limited rear wheel drive models, EPA estimated 303-mile driving range is based on a fully charged battery. Your actual range will vary.

Terms apply after 30 gigabytes, service may be slowed, receive a comparable iPhone model each year with an acceptable trade in every year, requires credit qualification and 36-month phone financing agreement. Ten years from today, Lisa Schneider will trade in her office job to become the leader of a pack of dogs. As the owner of her own dog rescue, that is. A second act made possible by the reskilling courses Lisa's taking now with AARP to help make sure her income lives as long as she does. And she can finally run with the big dogs and the small dogs who just think they're big dogs. That's why the younger you are, the more you need AARP. Learn more at AARP.org slash skills.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-10-03 08:18:44 / 2023-10-03 08:39:26 / 21

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime