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Cover for Out of Patients

Out of Patients

A Novel

Sandra Cavallo Miller


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After practicing medicine for over thirty years, Norah Waters MD is weighing her options, and early retirement looks better and better. At age fifty-eight, who needs midnight calls, cranky patients, and business headaches? Fighting burnout and workplace melodrama, Norah gives herself one last year to find her way back to enjoying her once-cherished career. In her final effort to make a meaningful difference, Norah takes on two medical students who both make and break her resolve to persist. One seems a hopeless introvert, the other a toxic egotist; supervising them makes her downright dizzy as she labels them the “yin and yang of med students.”  
Norah also tries to support her elderly mom, a feisty and irreverent eighty-six-year-old living in Sun City who once rejoiced at Woodstock and recently partied at Burning Man. Never exactly the perfect parent, Norah’s mom keeps her staid neighbors stirred up and has her eye on her mailman, a mere youngster at seventy-five. At utterly different points in their lives, troubled by a shadow in their past, both women find themselves on a quest for worth in their shifting worlds.  
Supported by her steadfast dog, a misfit veterinarian, and a thoughtful radiologist, Norah wrestles her way through a surprising assortment of obstacles, sometimes amusing and sometimes dreadful, to make a final decision about her future.

University of Nevada Press, 9781647790592, 256pp.

Publication Date: August 16, 2022

About the Author

Sandra Cavallo Miller is an author, poet, and retired academic family physician who has helped launch hundreds of medical students’ and residents’ careers. She is the author of four novels, including the Dr. Abby Wilmore series set near the Grand Canyon, and a novel about a public health physician in Phoenix (Where No One Should Live, University of Nevada Press). She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. For more information, visit