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Healthcare | Author
Robin Cook's literary career began with his first book, which he wrote while fulfilling operational submarine duty in the Navy. It was followed five years later in 1977 with Coma, which was published while Dr. Cook was a student at the Kennedy School of Government, and was written at night while he was a senior ophthalmology resident.
Twenty-eight other bestsellers have followed, all of which are translated into some fifty languages. To date he has sold well over one hundred million books.
In each of his novels, Robin Cook strives to write about the issues at the forefront of current medical practice. To date, he has explored issues such as organ donation, genetic engineering, fertility treatment, in vitro fertilization, research funding, managed care, drug research, organ transplantation, and bioterrorism.
Robin Cook says he chose to write thrillers because the form gives him "an opportunity to get the public interested in things about medicine they didn't seem to know about." In Robin Cook's twenty-fifth medical thriller, Marker (May 2005), mysterious deaths follow routine surgeries even though the victims are young and healthy. In this trademark medical thriller he includes his opinions on the state of medical care, the nursing shortage and faults of the health care system.
Robin Cook was born in Brooklyn, New York, and spent his early years in Woodside, Queens. In middle school he became fascinated with archeology and selected it as a career goal. When he graduated from high school as valedictorian of his class, his interests had switched to medicine. Putting himself through school, Robin Cook graduated from Wesleyan University summa cum laude with a major in chemistry and a distinction in government. He then went on to Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons where he worked full time running a chemistry lab at a hospital during nights. The bright side of those difficult years was that he had been invited to spend his medical school summer electives working of the Jacques Cousteau Institute in Monaco.
After surgical residency training, Dr. Robin Cook was drafted into the Navy, where he attended submarine school and navy diving school. Following a tour of duty on the U.S.S. Kamehamcha, the flagship of the Pacific submarine fleet, he was transferred to the Deep Submarine Systems Project (Sea Lab), where he trained as a Navy aquanaut. In that position he participated in research in diving, and published his first book, A Medical Watch Standers Guide to Saturation Diving.
Following his completion of service and subsequent discharge from the Navy, Dr. Cook undertook a second residency in ophthalmology at Harvard. Upon its completion, he then matriculated as a full time student at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government while at the same time opening a private practice of ophthalmology in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and accepting a clinical position at Harvard Medical School to teach and to see patients at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
There have been several movies as well as numerous television movies and mini-series made from Dr. Robin Cook's work.
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