Earlier this year we had the opportunity of being Dr. Beach Conger's home away from home during the days he was in Windsor working at our local Mt. Ascutney Hospital. Dr. Conger has been practicing medicine for 44 years and over 30 of those years have been here in Windsor. He is a staple to this community. When you walk down the row of doctors' offices at the hospital there is a sign that says, "This way to the Beach".
Earlier this fall, he published his third book, "It's Probably Nothing: More Adventures of a Vermont Doctor" (published locally by Chelsea Green Publishing in White Rive Jct., VT) and VPR ran a great story several weeks back about his newest work. You can also watch an excellent interview with Dr. Conger here. He is a doctor but he is also a storyteller and the two have meshed beautifully in his writings.
It's Probably Nothing continues the tale woven by Dr. Beach Conger in his first book, Bag Balm and Duct Tape. This new collection sees Conger and his wife yearning for new challenges and relocating to the suburbs of Philadelphia after 25 years in mythical Dumster, Vermont. Conger gamely takes a job in a teaching hospital in the poorest part of the city and gets to experience urban bureaucratized medicine and its trials- a far cry from the more idiosyncratic and hands-on version he practiced in Vermont. After 5 years Conger and his wife move back to Dumster, where he rediscovers more about his patients' capacity to both cope and cherish one another than he expected.Each of the tightly constructed chapters is centered around a particular patient or particular theme in medicine. It's Probably Nothing is both funny and poignant, and showcases both Conger's irreverent view into medicine and his profound empathy for the characters he encounters along the way. His experience highlights how medicine-and problems with out current medical system-can remain the same and yet be vastly different across class, race, and region. Among the people the reader meets are urban drag queens, small-town farmers and other heroes, Vermont celebrities, and the occasional reclusive author.
Are you still searching for Christmas gifts? One of Dr. Conger's books would be perfect.
Bag Balm & Duct Tape: Tales of a Vermont Doctor
It's Not My Fault: Tales of a Vermont Doctor
It's Probably Nothing: More Adventures of a Vermont Doctor