Lately, my work has taken detours into the surreal. The stories appear cut from a different cloth, or rather, a different white coat. I wish I could make a grand artistic or “writerly” explanation for this. But I believe healthcare has become surreal on its own without any help from fiction writers.

What's Left Out

ForeWord Reviews 2015 INDIEFAB Book of the Year Bronze Award for Short Fiction.

"With imagination and an eye for detail, writer and physician Jay Baruch takes readers on an unsparing ride through the strange landscape of contemporary health care to experience the bizarre, ignored, or misunderstood challenges facing healers and the ill. In this collection of short stories, communities shoulder unrelenting burdens, optimism is held with caution, and people ration their dreams and their sanity. Baruch’s vivid storytelling captures the emotionally fraught and absurd challenges he has faced during his twenty years as an emergency physician. The stories in What’s Left Out ask readers to take risks, to make leaps into unfamiliar territory, and, like the larger health care enterprise, to develop comfort and trust in the untraditional and unexpected."

“Too often stories of patients and doctors are reduced to good guys and bad guys. In this varied and imaginative collection, Jay Baruch offers a more complex, accurate, and fully human view of modern health care and the people whose lives are changed by it.”—Louise Aronson, author of A History of the Present Illness and Associate Professor at the University of California, San Francisco

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Fourteen Stories

“Jay Baruch has long been fascinated by how illness can make people strangers to their own bodies, how we all struggle to maintain control as the body decays and life slowly becomes unrecognizable, and how health professionals discover and struggle with the limits of their own competence and compassion.”

ForeWord Magazine 2007 Book of the Year Honorable Mention in the Short Story category

“Plunging into one of Jay Baruch’s stories is like finding yourself in a busy Emergency Room at two in the morning—here you will meet characters whose lives are urgent and not always what they seem on the surface. Like his characters, Baruch’s writing is vibrant and intense, and his vision is prismatic. He speaks in many voices, among them doctor, patient, family member, medical student, and even ER janitor, and so examines the world of health and illness from many points of view. I appreciate the way Baruch acknowledges the complexity of life, and then dissects it for us into so many planes of action and consequence.
--Cortney Davis, author of I Knew a Woman: Four Women Patients and Their Female Caregiver and Leopold’s Maneuvers.

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