I'm CJ Lyons, a pediatric ER doc turned suspense/thriller writer. I've worked with police and prosecutors, as a victims' advocate, and practiced medicine for 17 years. My first medical suspense will debut from Berkley in 2008.
I'm a PhD chemist by training, and as an instrumentalist, acutely aware that in testing, you never see what you're not looking for, and even if you're looking for it, interferences may mask a valid reading. From a scientist's point of view, no reading is valid if it's not reproducible. Yet a surprising number of patients react to a single reading as gospel. There's the famous case of a New Orleans' nurse who reacted to a positive HIV test by quitting herr job and planning her 'death tour.' Turned out a second test gave a negative. In second year graduate analytical chemistry, there's an exercise where you send your university analyzed substances out to forty commercial labs and then assess the results. The most informative part of these reports is when you ask for an element that's clearly never present. Osmium, for example. And, to be pleasing or seem competent, some labs come back with numbers of osmium, some of them BIG numbers. The point is that in analysis there are sixteen generic possibilities for generating invalid numbers in any analysis. This is why you won't find any number reported for analysis in a chemistry journal that doesn't represent at least five samples. It is strange, no, that given all of these possibilities for error, from false labeling on sample taking to false reporting of a valid result to the wrong patient, that physicians aren't more skeptical, don't more often say, "Symptoms don't support this. Run it again."?
Hey, C.J. I've been meaning to drop you a note to tell you how much I enjoyed LIFELINES. You had my pulse rate way up there by the end. And you really nailed Pittsburgh. Congrats. Can't wait for the next one.
Hey CJ...I was a physician assistant before going to law school. Now I work as a prosecutor focusing in sexual assaults of child victims. Common ground...My first novel, Justice is Coming is a health care fraud case turns murder mystery. We should compare notes someday...Good luck on your projects!