I am so excited that May is finally here. My excitement isn’t because the weather is warming up, or because my social calendar this weekend is chock-full of fun events. No, it is because I have been anxiously awaiting the opportunity to discuss this month’s ThriveAP Book Club read. How did you like the book?

Oxygen, by Carol Cassella, is the perfect pairing of medicine and fiction, a page-turning novel entertaining to read but that also forces you to think and evaluate your own life circumstances. The book tells the story of Dr. Marie Heaton, an anesthesiologist devoted to her career practicing at one of Seattle’s top hospitals. Marie’s life is carefully constructed, her surgical practices precise and her relationships guarded. But, one day, in what should have been a routine surgery, something goes terribly wrong.

Suddenly, Marie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit, arguably through no fault of her own. She must navigate not only the legal proceedings of her case but also her the intricacies of her relationships with friends and family.

I enjoyed Oxygen from a pure entertainment perspective, especially as an unexpected twist unfolded towards the end of the novel. But, I also found myself reflecting as I read. How would I react if I was sued for medical malpractice? Would my colleagues stand by me? Or, would I be left to fend for myself like Marie?

Marie’s situation in Oxygen could easily become reality for any of us as nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Evaluating my own feelings and circumstances gave the novel an added depth. Whether you are looking for a summer beach read or something a bit more profound, Oxygen fits the bill. This pick is a must-read for nurse practitioners and physician assistants alike.

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Next month’s ThriveAP book club read is The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg. I’ve already started reading and I can tell you this pick is fascinating. If you’ve got a bad habit to kick I suggest you pick up a copy and start reading.


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