Writing My Book by David Bernstein, author of I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old

Title: I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old
Author: David Bernstein

Publisher: Dynamic Learning

Pages: 202

Genre: Health/Fitness

Format: Paperback/Ebook

Life is an aging process. Each of us will go through it in our own way. How we lead our lives when we are old, particularly as we near the end, is, I believe, worth pondering. In this way, “I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old” serves as a guide for all of us as we age, providing topics for contemplation and discussion with friends, family and colleagues. “You’re Old” uses real patient experiences to explore what happens as we age-physically, mentally, and socially. The book also examines the tremendous abilities of medicine today as well as its limits, and the social issues that adults in America face as they age. Each chapter concludes with Notes on Living Longer, and a resource section, providing topic-specific information on organizations, websites, and other expert sources that can help the reader better understand and prepare for the prize of surviving youth and middle-age: becoming old. “You’re Old” is written for the aging and the aged, their children, and younger people who aspire to grow old. It is written for the physicians, nurses and other providers who care for the elderly. The experiences explored in this book include the “good news and the bad” as the inevitable ravages of age intrude into the lives of Dr Bernstein’s patients. From the most mundane situations to the truly sublime, the tales illuminate the emotional, psychological, and spiritual aspects of aging along with the diverse strategies people use to adapt to its realities.

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  • I’ve Got Good News and Some Bad News: You’re Old is available at Amazon.

Writing My Book David Bernstein, MD

 After practicing geriatric medicine for nearly 30 years and swirling hundreds of stories about my patients in my head, I decided it was time to fulfill a lifelong promise I made to myself to write a book,  “my” book.  One of my earliest motivators was my high school commencement speaker, David Fisher.  He had graduated from my high school just 10 years earlier and in that short span of time had established himself as an author.  Although he started out writing about sports figures did not diminish his accomplishment in my eyes.  (I have come to find out that he has sold over a million books in his career on various subjects besides sports)

My first  book, I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News:  YOU’RE OLD: Tales of a Geriatrician what to expect in your 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and beyond  was published after 5 years of hard work.  When people me ask about the process,  I elaborate that  2007 was my starting point when I attended a writing course coordinated by the Harvard Medical School’s department of continuing medical education.

At that time, I made a commitment to myself that it was time to get serious and start my project.  Both of my children had gone off to college, and I had plenty of free time.  I enrolled in the Harvard writing course also known as Achieving Healthcare Leadership and Outcomes through Writing and Publishing which was directed by Julie Silver MD. The journey of writing my book began with that memorable trip to Boston.  When I entered the auditorium filled with 100 other medical professional, I anticipated it would be a competitive environment (just like in medical school) with everyone expecting to write about the same subject as I had in mind. I soon learned that nothing could be further from the truth.  The auditorium was filled with physicians who had many different ideas and interests; I was amazed.  The presentations were excellent; the subjects were varied; including many of the elements one would need to succeed in getting a book published. Coffee breaks were arranged in a way that enabled the attendee to network with one another and with professionals from the publishing establishments.  Agents, publishers, PR professionals and writing coaches were available at those breaks to provide the attendee the opportunity to present ideas and get much needed professional feedback.   My networking resulted in meeting Martha Murphy who became my writing coach.

When I returned home from Boston, I was energized, motivated, and ready to start writing my book.  Martha helped provide focus, direction, and specific tasks that led to the eventual completion of my book.   What I also experienced was that just because I wanted to write my book, the world did not stop… I still had my day job; practicing geriatric medicine.  During the five-year project there were delays. I dealt with family issues, graduations, illness, and death in my family.  I put my writing on hiatus to study and pass my geriatric recertification board exam. I waited months while one particular agent considered taking on my book.  Martha also had family concerns of her own which added to the length of the project, but in the end, it was all worth it.

During the process, I maintained a small tight circle of advisors and eventually decided self-publishing my book was the way to proceed. With the kind of technology available today, I found a way to publish at reasonable cost while I maintained my independence. Since self-published books are printed on demand, I had minimal overhead or inventory to maintain.

Publishing my book has been one of the most exhilarating experiences in my life, having no regrets about the path I chose to take.

One of the gratifying experiences I have is when I meet my readers and listen to them tell me what the most meaningful part of my book was to them.  Sometimes, when I hear how my messages of GRACE resulted in actions that helped the reader and their family manage a specific problem or situation, I am deeply moved.

I have learned a tremendously from the experiences shared with my patients, that I have already started working on my next several books!

David Bernstein, MD is a highly respected physician who is board certified in both Internal Medicine and Geriatrics practicing in Clearwater, Florida. His 30+ years of experience have provided him with opportunities to observe and empathize with thousands of adults as they age. His compassion and ability to see the souls of his patients has compelled him to share his stories in his book “I’ve Got Some Good News and Some Bad News You’re OLD: Tales of a Geriatrician What to expect in Your 60s, 70s, 80s and Beyond”

Dr. Bernstein has served as chairman of his hospital’s Pharmacy and Therapeutic committee for 20 years helping to improve patient safety and outcomes. During this period of time, he also served on the board of the local Jewish Family service and as chairman. As an associate clinical professor in the department of medicine at the University of South Florida College of Medicine, he has taught the skills he has acquired over the years to first and second year students.

Dr. Bernstein has been a nursing home medical director for 20 years. He was responsible for addressing administrative and quality assurance issues.

“When you give, you get back” he says about what his patients have told him and taught him about life and aging. His writing style of telling stories about his patients allows the reader to understand the complex emotions and struggles of growing older and losing independence. He lovingly tells these stories adding his own insights about this complex process.

Dr Bernstein is an avid public speaker, addressing various medical topics with his colleagues and with the community at large with a focus on families facing the complex problems as they near the end of life.

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