Cover Image: Out of Patients

Out of Patients

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This book was a very interesting read and an intriguing look at the inner workings of a medical practice and the stressors that family practice doctors face every day.  It was also interesting to read about all the "volunteer" positions some doctors sign up for in the interest of training future doctors and deciding who gets admitted to medical school.  The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is it felt like the ending was a little abrupt.
Was this review helpful?
Wow what a fantastic book. The characters are superbly written and the plot is thoughtful and enjoyable.. I loved the dog in this story he melted my heart and I was thoroughly entertained by the medical aspects. A great read that I will be definitely recommending.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and University of Nevada Press in addition to the author for this ARC.
This is my honest review
#NetGalley #SandraCavalloMiller #UniversityofNevadaPress 
I just loved this book.  This was my first by this author and, as soon as I finish this review, I’m going to go find more.  I was immediately captivated by Norah, and not only because that’s my daughter’s name.  She was relatable, funny, strong and her story was compelling.  Honestly, I chose this book because there was a dog on the cover.  I can’t resist a good animal story.  This story had everything.  The characters were amazing.  The story was compelling.  The dog was adorable.  I have spent most of my life in the veterinary field so the addition of a cranky vet also added some fun and relatability to this story.  
There was a lot of humor in this book.  It was very character driven.  I couldn’t have loved it more.
Was this review helpful?
I really like this book! It follows the life/happenings around a 58 y/o female physician in AZ that works at a family practice medical clinic, at work & at home. The author knows about her subject (she's a retired family practice physician) & describes an easily imagined clinic setting, & the co-workers involved there & the rapport between the staff....& a home life. While it isn't in a 'thriller' category, it does seem to captivate you & you find yourself wanting to continue reading right along! The reader follows easily along, this relatable story. I really like the 'common-ness' of the story & characters.....one can easily imagine knowing someone like these people.....& maybe that's what lends this to being read so quickly & enjoyed so much....it's so relatable & believable! There's a bit of a mystery, a bit of romance, some good medical info slipped in nicely, good characters (some 'not so nice' characters!) So there's a little something for everyone, all put together in one read! I look forward to reading more from Sandra Cavallo Miller!
I received an e-ARC from University of Nevada Press via NetGalley in return for reading it & posting my own fair/honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I really liked the way this book covers a couple of topics I don't often see: realistic fiction about women over 50 and stories about women physicians in family practice. This book will be very relatable to some, but even if don't fit either of those categories, it is a good read.

Norah Waters is examining her life. She's working all the time and exhausted - should she quit? She recently kicked her boyfriend out, she has troublesome medical students she's mentoring, and her practice is mysteriously losing money.

I liked her character, and I liked the way this story was told. I hope to read more from Sandra Miller!
Was this review helpful?
I found Out Of Patients to be a highly readable, realistic novel about an older family practitioner facing lots of life decisions.  Nora is a wonderful character trying to balance her career, the politics of a small clinic, her elderly but energetic mother, a love life, mentoring medical students, and whatever else life throws at her, including a money mystery at the clinic.  I really enjoyed this novel and felt the author was really good at pulling everything together in a satisfying read.
Was this review helpful?
Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller

Published: August 16, 2022
 University of Nevada Press
Pages: 259
Genre: Medical Fiction
KKECReads Rating: 4/5
I received a copy of this book for free, and I leave my review voluntarily.

Sandra Cavallo Miller is a recently retired family physician in Phoenix who has always been a writer in her secret heart. Very little fiction has been written about women physicians, and she finds it a great challenge to show the struggles and triumphs of day-to-day practice in an entertaining and informative way. To show the human side and, at the same time, create an adventurous story. She likes to call her new genre "science-based medical adventure." When not writing, you might find her on a horse, hiking with a dog, or exploring her latest hobby, volcanology.

“Sometimes small steps feel like long strides.”

Being a physician is hard. Long hours, lots of illness, and constantly being torn between doing what’s right and doing what’s allowed. Norah is feeling burnt out. She is on the brink of just walking away, and she’s dealing with her personal life as an afterthought. 

This was an unusual but interesting read. Admittedly, I don’t know much about being a doctor or the inner workings of the medical field. 

So that aspect of this book was fascinating. It was interesting to see behind the curtain and learn a bit about what a family physician goes through. 

The characters were all well done. I did enjoy the balance between being a medical student through someone on the verge of retirement. The mix was well done, and the balance felt fair.

I enjoyed getting to know Norah, even if she was a pessimistic character. But that seemed to add to the authenticity of the story. Norah represented women in the medical field, constantly torn between career and family. 

I loved watching Norah work with George and seeing her passion play through her teaching. It was very cool seeing the character teach each other. It was a neat mix of new and old. 

I found the storyline intriguing, and despite nothing crazy happening, the plot moved along at a decent pace. The situations were realistic and unusual but apparently fitting for the life of a doctor in private practice. 

I enjoyed how this book showed aspects of the medical friend, both with human doctors and animal, and it felt very authentic. I found the humanity refreshing and honest. It will make you think about how you treat your care provider and perhaps give you a glimmer of appreciation for everything they deal with.
Was this review helpful?
Sandra Cavallo Miller paints a picture of the toll practicing Family Medicine can take on doctors. Norah Waters has moved from a rewarding career working at a health clinic for the underprivileged to a more upscale group practice. She spends her days seeing patients, supervising sometimes difficult medical students, and long hours after work finishing documentation and paperwork. Somehow, the practice is losing income and Norah is so very tired of it all.   There is also the issues of her feisty 86 year old mother and the end of Norah’s long term relationship with a needy writer.   The only constant in her life is her dog Emcee.  
I enjoyed taking this journey with Norah. The writing is engaging and the story line enjoyable. I definitely would recommend this to anyone who faces burnout in these times and looks for a chance to remake themselves.
Was this review helpful?
This is an interesting story about a female physician who searching for meaning in her life and in her long career. She has to cope with an aging once upon a time hippie mother, two medical students she is trying to mentor/teach, an income from her practice that is dwindling for no apparent reason, and her trusty dog who is her best and perhaps only real friend. The story covers a long year, during which she must decide where to go and what to do. Though the book was somewhat interesting, I found myself struggling to get through it. I think the fact that there was a story, but no real, exciting plot made it more difficult for me. I did find it fascinating to get into the mind of a doctor who had a long and busy career, something I have never done before in all my reading. I got a better understanding and appreciation for the doctors I see all the time, and what heir lives are, for the most part, like. I also liked the fact that this was a female physician, working in a largely male environment. The book just did not grab me. I received this from NetGalley to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
I just reviewed Crooked Lane Books Fall 2022 Sampler by Crooked Lane Books. #CrookedLaneBooksFall2022Sampler #NetGalley

great book with enjoyable characters and plot.  Keep me engaged 

I just reviewed Out of Patients by Sandra Cavallo Miller. #OutofPatients #NetGalley
Was this review helpful?
Out of Patients 
Norah is a primary care doctor in a practice with multiple physicians. At 58 years old , she is burned out and thinking of retiring. She just broke up with Austin after a long relationship. Her only pleasure seems to be her dog, Emcee. 
I do not agree with all the 5 star reviews, I found Norah whining, not really knowing what she wants to do, what relationship she wants to pursue. I was bored reading the book and finished it only to be able to write this review. Only two stars for me. 
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed are completely my own.
Was this review helpful?
This was a really good book, no crazy killers, no haunted houses, no views of historical events just a great interesting story about a 60 year old female family doctor.   I am in my 60's myself so I enjoyed that the main character was someone I could really understand.   So many interesting parts of the book, Norah getting burned out should she retire, income shortages at work to deal with and why is it happening, a recent long term relationship ending, and 2 med students she is coaching.   All of these were very interesting storylines and then her conversations with her mom were so entertaining as well.   I am a mom of 2 rescue pups so I really enjoyed the chats with her pups too!   A very good book!
Was this review helpful?
“Practicing medicine is controlled chaos and you have to struggle to keep your head on straight.” So says Dr. Norah, the persevering main character of a marvelous book., “Out of Patients”, by author Sandra Cavallo Miller. This book is now at the top of my “favorites” list and I highly recommend it. 

Norah practices family medicine in Phoenix. She lives with her doggie Emcee, who is able to communicate very well. Norah is a bit burnt out, and a bit depressed; also extremely witty and deprecating. Still, she cares about her patients, and her med students and her other professional responsibilities. 

I enjoyed reading about her day-to-day life as a doctor. And what really added to the enjoyment of this book, were all the other stories and events that happen to Norah. Mysterious and upsetting messages, unexplained loss of income, difficult medical students, an odd veterinarian, a possible new romance, and a hilarious mother in Sun City all add up to make a meaningful and entertaining book. 

5 stars! I plan to read the author’s previous novels. Thanks to Net Galley and the publisher for a review copy. This is my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A likable protagonist, humor, and, oh, yes, a dog
Dr. Norah Waters has a lot on her mind. She is 58 years old and is trying to decide if she can continue fulfilling the demands required of a family practitioner. To make it worse, the practice she runs with four other doctors is not deriving the income it used to, and no one knows why. She and her boyfriend broke up over three months ago, but he is not completely out of her life, and meanwhile there are some other interesting men around.  Oh, and there is also her dog Emcee (named after Marie Curie). 
If you are tired of the current fad for unsympathetic or abused protagonists and characters with whom you can’t identify, breathe a sigh of relief. I liked narrator-protagonist Norah immediately, and she seemed believable as a person. The same was true of the others we meet in the book. Many of them have quirks, but they are believable quirks, like the medical students she supervises, one of whom is overbearing and arrogant, while the other is very shy. Yup, sounds like a lot of medical students I knew back in the day. As a matter of fact, Norah recognizes one of those proclivities in her comment, “Trust me, lawyers do not want a doctor on their jury because we’re way too opinionated, even when we don’t know what we’re talking about.”
While we are getting to know Norah, we also get an unusual and very interesting insight into the life of a family practitioner, which the author knows well, since she is a retired family physician. My respect for my family doc, which was already high, has gone up as a result.
The book is set in the Phoenix area, which I have enjoyed visiting, and it is vivid enough that it makes me want to plan another trip.
With a title like Out of Patients, you might suspect that you will find humor in the book, and you would be right! Norah’s wry observations like the one above  keep a book about a doctor who is considering quitting the career she has followed for over  thirty years from being a downer. 
Out of Patients is categorized as women’s fiction, which may be reasonable, but I could imagine many men enjoying it as well. (In particular, the romance theme is not the main story line.).  I will know soon, because I plan to recommend it to a number of friends, not all of them women. I guarantee you will close the book with a smile on your face.
I received an advance review copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Norah is a family practitioner dealing with burnout. But her heightened sense of responsibility for solving everyone else's problems makes it difficult for her to walk away, even though she fantasizes about it more with each passing day.

As we step into Norah's world and experience the know-it-all patients, difficult colleagues, a sex-crazed octagenarian mother, disappearing funds, impossible student doctors, a mooch of an ex-boyfriend, and an intimidating stalker, we feel the same sense of dread that she does. 

But then three different men enter her life (two humans and one canine), each affecting her perspective in their own way, And showing that there's much more to life than one's job.

I enjoyed reading this story and learned a lot about the pressures both family practitioners and veterinarians face. I hadn't known before about the high suicide rates of people in these professions. And this book dealt with the issue sensitively.

Thank you to Sandra Cavallo Miller, University of Nevada Press, and NetGalley for an advance review copy.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e ARC of this book.
What a great book. Entertaining and witty, the book accurately describes life as a female family practice doctor. Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
Having previously read, appreciated, and enjoyed Where No One Should Live by Sandra Cavallo Miller, I was eager to read her new book, Out of Patients. I was not disappointed in the book whose protagonist is a family practice doctor, Norah, 58 years old and a bit tired of trying to keep all the balls in the air at a Phoenix clinic that has five doctors, two medical students who need supervision, and some clearly quixotic patients. Miller does a great job of educating the reader about various medical conundrums and solutions. She also has a sly sense of humor which shows that being a doctor and diagnosing various illnesses is mostly a challenge. Miller does a great job of creating characters and intertwining their often impractical and unrealistic hopes for improving their health.  And yet she is empathetic, understanding, and knowledgeable about their concerns. 

One of the medical students is a problematic and Narcissistic future doctor whereas the other, who seems unlikely to flourish as a physician, turns out to be just the opposite. He makes improvement; has good, practical ideas about how to encourage well-being in patients; and is clearly set to be a successful doctor. Norah's 86-year-old mother is comedic, deciding she wants to spend more time with a much younger mailman. In the meantime, the plot, as they say, thickens. Some nefarious person is regularly writing nasty notes and sticking them under the windshield wipers on the cars of the clinic employees. At the same time, money is being siphoned from the clinic coffers, and no one is able to identify the thief or why he or she is stealing clinic funds.

Norah has rather recently broken up with her boyfriend, a laconic, would-be writer who seems to lack both ability and realistic goals for himself. At the same time, she meets a veterinarian and then a radiologist, both of whom are interested in her. We also become acquainted with her dog and then later on, another dog from the vet clinic that needs to be adopted. 

To wit: this book really has everything needed to make it a great read: a cast of characters, both grumpy and supportive that balance each other; humor; a realistic portrayal of clinic employees; and a plot that thickens and is imaginative but realistic.I highly recommend it and am looking forward to Miller's next book.

Thanks to the University of Nevada Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and appreciate Out of Patients.
Was this review helpful?
Dr. Norah Waters is thinking of retiring, she decides to go to a teaching hospital and supervise two medical students for a year, before she makes a decision. very interesting read.
Was this review helpful?
This topic interested me, but I couldn’t truly get into this book. I found the main character’s dreariness and complaining rather draining and not enjoyable to read. I also wasn’t interested in many of  the medical details, much of it feeling educational but actually just common knowledge. I found myself skimming a lot and about halfway through put the book down for good.

This book would probably be more interesting for someone in the medical field.
Was this review helpful?
I very much enjoyed this book, especially the dogs. While I am not a physician, I completely understood Norah's disgust and disillusionment with the healthcare system in this country. I did feel the book was a bit too long and there were a few parts I didn't like (no spoilers but some people should reap what they sow). However, I found myself laughing out loud during a few parts. A charming read, something I might even consider reading again.
Was this review helpful?