• Dr. Dawn Harris Sherling

The Birth of Not Quite Dead

Updated: Apr 30, 2021

I was born and raised in Miami, Florida. Initially believing I wanted to go into journalism, I wrote for my college newspaper (Go Gators!) and did a summer internship with The Miami Herald. After reflecting upon my mother’s own health struggles, I decided to change course and become a physician. I was lucky enough to meet my husband while in medical school and we wound up in Boston for our residencies. This is where Not Quite Dead was born. After my first child was actually born, however, my life became a sleep-deprived, working mother’s dash from one crisis to the next. Not Quite Dead was put on hold.

Boston winters are brutal and they wore this thin-blooded Floridian down. So, back to Florida we went. I had another child. Life continued at its hectic pace. I occasionally wrote for the local paper and once in a while I would pull up Not Quite Dead, but it would be another few years before I could go back to it.

Finally, between one job and the next, the novel beckoned me to finish it. What I had was written in a resident’s voice and my perspective as an attending had shifted. I re-conjured the emotions of that time and entered the mind of today’s resident, bringing Autumn, Cassie, and Mark back to life, and I completed the story I had started years ago.

Being a doctor is hard. Being a patient is harder. And the system doesn’t support either one. Not Quite Dead is part of my journey to tell that tale, but it isn’t the whole story. There is always more.

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