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Island Practice    by Pam Belluck order for
Island Practice
by Pam Belluck
Order:  USA  Can
PublicAffairs, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

This is the true story of a very good but often unconventional doctor who practices on the island of Nantucket. Dr. Timothy Lepore is a libertarian gun aficionado and roadkill collector, the local football team doctor, a marathon runner, tick expert, unofficial psychologist, occasional veterinarian and the island's only surgeon.

For over three decades this idiosyncratic physician has matched his eccentric patients in occasionally bizarre behavior, but when anyone is in trouble, he is the 'go-to-guy' and he's met every medical challenge that's come his way.

Living thirty miles offshore can present quite a few challenges. They range from mundane things like stitching up patients with serious cuts, treating Cobblestone Rash (contracted from falling or stumbling face down on the island's uneven streets) and dealing with tick bites to serious, life-threatening calamities that might necessitate a transfer to a Boston hospital.

At times the weather doesn't cooperate and emergency procedures must be performed on the island. The weather isn't the only thing that complicates Dr. Lepore's life. He dwells in a small community where little, if anything, can be kept secret, the year-around population numbers quite a few characters, and the range and variety of medical problems can be staggering.

Treating the rich and famous (John Kerry, Jimmy Buffet and members of the Kennedy clan) as well as the no-so-famous (Underground Tom), Dr. Lepore never turns away a patient. He's been known to accept payments from oatmeal raisin cookies to roadkill that is used to feed his red-tailed hawk. He can be quirky, controversial and contradictory, but this independent minded physician holds healthcare together on the celebrated island.

Told by journalist Pam Belluck, who has been a staff writer for the New York Times for over fifteen years, this is the highly entertaining story of a man who is truly unique and serves his community in an exceptional manner.

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