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With Dr. Paul Bernstein, author of Courage to Heal: A Novel


This week's guest has been so inspired by the life and accomplishments of one man that he wrote a book about him. Courage to Heal is the fictionalized account of the life of Dr. Sidney Garfield, who changed medicine forever.

Dr. Paul Bernstein is chief of the Department of Head and Neck Surgery at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego and the regional chief in Southern California. He is also assistant clinical professor at the University of California at San Diego Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He started the Kaiser Permanente Historical Society to preserve the organization's history and culture.

Dr. Bernstein's novels have won numerous awards, including first place in the San Diego Book Awards and the Hannah Fiction Award at the Asilomar Writers’ Conference. He has appeared as a medical expert on "Good Morning America" and San Diego television and was featured on the cover of MD magazine.

With his wife Judith and son Clifford, Dr. Bernstein mentors and provides support for several young Sudanese refugees.

Please join Paul Bernstein and host Paula B. as they discuss:

  • Why he wrote Sidney Garfield's true story as fiction
  • Why he wrote it in the first person
  • How he did his research
  • Whether he stayed perfectly true to the facts
  • Why most of the book is dialogue
  • What U.S. medicine was like in the 1940s and why Dr. Garfield had to fight so hard to change it.

Interviewee: Paul Bernstein
Host: Paula B.
Date: June 8, 2008
Running time: 54:03
File size: 26 megabytes
Rating: G
Paul Bernstein's Web site: Courage to Heal

Purchase Paul Bernstein's book at