EW recently did a spotlight on 5 new writers getting a lot of attention. One is a 33 year-old ER doctor named Vincent Lam, whose new book Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures is garnering critical praise.  He won Canada’s top literary award for this collection of linked stories about young doctors. In an earlier issue, EW reviewed the book:

LamVincent Lam’s M.D. training pulses through this novel-in-stories about young Canadian docs in obvious ways, from the anxiety of getting into med school to the drudgery of dissections to the dire stakes of everyday patient care. But it also shows up in subtler details. In painfully visceral descriptions, Lam explores an alcoholic doctor with SARS and a pregnant patient undergoing a C-section without proper anesthesia. It’s hard not to compare stories about doctors’ overlapping lives, loves, and patients to Grey’s Anatomy, but Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures cuts deeper in the way only books can — and without any McNicknames or supply-closet hookups. A-

Here is an interview with Lam about the relationship between being a doctor and a writer.

NovelWorld blog says this:

The young Toronto author, Vincent Lam, is not only a doctor himself but an unfairly talented writer as well, with a swift, honest style and a compelling sense of storytelling. Again and again he quickly takes the moral pulse of a character. Some of these stories are knockouts, spellbinding plots with all kinds of messy complications and unexpected resolutions.

Lam presents the reader with the dizzying ambiguities that haunt physicians, making their lives a chain of educated guesses. How honest should a doctor be to a patient without hope? On an emergency, should a doctor run or walk down the hall? Is an elevator excusable when every second counts? What if the doctor suspects the police have gone a little too far? What if the doctor knows the anaesthesiologist won’t get there in time?

It’s a show-stopper of a debut, a pulse-pounding tribute to medicine and the complexity of human motivation, concluding with the terrifying introduction of SARS into the world. Heartfelt, human stuff. Then there’s one more tale.