After practicing medicine for more than thirty years in the sweltering suburbs of Phoenix, Dr. Norah Waters is weighing her options, and early retirement is looking better and better. At age fifty-eight, she questions whether she still needs to deal with midnight calls, cranky patients, and the financial headaches that come with running a small clinic. Fighting burnout and workplace melodrama, Norah gives herself one final year to find the fulfillment and satisfaction she remembers from the early years of her once-cherished career.
As she embarks on her year’s journey, Norah grapples with a medical practice that is experiencing a concerning loss of income. She is supervising two medical students, one whose shyness hampers his development and another whose arrogance and contempt for family medicine creates major friction at the clinic. Norah’s life is further complicated by her elderly mother, a feisty 86-year-old living in Sun City, who once rejoiced at Woodstock and recently partied at Burning Man. Troubled by a shadow in their past, both women find themselves on a quest for self-worth in their shifting worlds.
Norah also must cope with the end of an unhappy, long-term relationship with an aspiring, but deadbeat, novelist. Supported by her steadfast dog, a misfit veterinarian, and a thoughtful radiologist, Norah wrestles through a surprising assortment of obstacles, sometimes amusing and sometimes dreadful, on her way to making a final decision about her future
“Readers will enjoy Miller’s sense of humor and her marvelous dialogue. [S]he really understands the world Out of Patients is written about. She did a terrific job.” —Phyllis Barber, author of The Desert Between Us and Raw Edges: A Memoir
"Out of Patients has a good narrative with enjoyable, full characters and an interesting plot. It is well-paced and Miller provides interesting turns of phrase throughout. This is very good writing and kept my attention.” —Leslie Greenberg, MD, FAAFP associate professor, family medicine residency assistant program director, University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine