Coma Author-Physician on His New Medical Thriller, Cell

Eric Topol Talks Medicine and Murder With Best-Selling Author Robin Cook

; Robin Cook, MD


February 03, 2014

In This Article

33 Books and Counting?

Dr. Topol: Are you going to keep writing?

Dr. Cook: I hope so. It's a challenge. Every time I finish a book I really have a question of confidence: Can I do another one?

Dr. Topol: Well, you've done 33.

Dr. Cook: I know, but I still feel that way. Do you remember what it was like in medical school when you had to act like a doctor and you didn't feel like you were a doctor? You felt like you were the imposter. Eventually you overcome that. Unfortunately, in terms of being a writer, that's never happened; I still feel like I'm learning every day.

Dr. Topol: Did you feel that way as an ophthalmologist as well?

Dr. Cook: No, I felt very comfortable. There's something more elusive about writing. When I went to college, I had an idea or some sort of mental image of an author: An author was some sort of philosopher-type individual who, most of the time, smoked and wore very thick sweaters -- sort of like Hemingway. I'm not anything like that. I still feel that I took all the wrong courses in college. I wish I had taken some literature and some more history.

Dr. Topol: It seems like you've done pretty well.

Dr. Cook: Whatever I've done, it's been self-taught. But I have to say that college did help me, because it encouraged me to do a distinction thesis as an undergraduate, which I did all on my own. I don't think I would have tried that first book had I not had that experience. So Wesleyan University did help me.

Dr. Topol: That's terrific. This has been a really fascinating discussion, because I don't think there's anyone who's written 33 medical thrillers who's a physician, and you've really captured the message of digital health in your latest book. Thanks so much for joining us on this Medscape One-on-One.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.