Sarah Hamsen has written an inspiring interview with Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon and a medical reporter for CNN, about his life and work. He writes a column for Time magazine as well as books and recently published his first novel Monday Mornings. It’s a story about the lives of five top-flight surgeons who have to confront professional failings in front of their peers at a hospital’s weekly Morbidity and Mortality conference. The novel took 10 years to write on planes, early in the morning, and at night.

Sarah Hamsen observes the most noteworthy thing about the famous doctor is the obvious delight he takes in learning new things and pushing himself to the top of his capacity to illuminate the science and art of medicine.

Gupta says:

“With creativity, it’s one of the few activities that engages both sides of the brain simultaneously, you get the words down – that’s from the left side of the brain – and the melody of

[the writing], the feeling of it, comes from the right side of the brain. … So all of a sudden you’re stressing pathways. And when you feel your brain working that way, it’s pretty fun.”

This is a wonderful example of whole-brain thinking. Gupta says he writes to give people a behind-the-scenes look at medicine. “Some of the biggest advances in medicine have come from the war-zone setting because you’re suddenly confronted with many patients and you have limited resources.” That makes sense. Constraints force us to be resourceful.

I’m inspired by Gupta’s dedication: He says,“I really love being a doctor. With medicine, you get to wake up every morning with a very clear idea of what my purpose on Earth is.” May we all start the day with that kind of certainty.

Read the interview here:  Sanjay Gupta taps into both sides of his brain in The Globe and Mail.

Buy Monday Mornings: A Novel on Amazon