Interview: Catherine Musemeche, MD on HURT: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care

The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care
Catherine Musemeche, M.D.
Genre: Medicine / Medical History
Date of Publication: September 6, 2016
Publisher: ForeEdge
# of pages: 268

The heroic story of the invention of trauma care, from
battlefield triage to level 1 trauma centers
Trauma is a disease of epidemic proportions that preys on the young, killing more Americans up to age thirty-seven than all other afflictions combined. Every year an estimated 2.8 million people are hospitalized for injuries and more than 180,000 people die.
We take for granted that no matter how or where we are injured, someone will call 911 and trained first responders will show up to insert IVs, stop the bleeding, and swiftly deliver us to a hospital staffed by doctors and nurses with the expertise necessary to save our lives. None of this happened on its own.
Told through the eyes of a surgeon who has flown on rescue helicopters, resuscitated patients in trauma centers in Houston and Chicago, and operated on hundreds of trauma victims of all ages, Hurt takes us on a tour of the advancements in injury treatment from the battlefields of the Civil War to the state-of-the-art trauma centers of today.
“Musemeche’s fast-paced medical history mixes the gritty reality of treating life-threatening injuries—including her own heart-pounding experiences as surgeon—with an unfettered optimism about what trauma care can now promise: an assurance that most people will survive even a devastating injury.” —Publishers Weekly
“Hurt is a fascinating journey through the history of trauma care in this country. Musemeche’s unique ability to weave moving, personal stories with intriguing facts takes this book well beyond a great read. It is an education in the human spirit.” —Paul Ruggieri, MD, author of Confessions of a Surgeon and The Cost of Cutting

*Book People* *IndieBound*


How has being a Texan influenced your writing?

As a native Texan I have a free-ranging view of the world and what I’m capable of as a writer.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?

I started with fiction writing and I was terrible at it. When I started writing nonfiction based on my work as a surgeon the words came easier.

Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

As a child of the 60’s who grew up in a small town, I looked forward to our  weekly trips to the Orange Public Library in Orange, Texas. Books opened the world to me and taught me that anything was possible.

How long have you been writing?

If you count the Catholic Daughter’s Poetry Contest in the eighth grade, I’ve been writing a long time but I’ve been writing nonfiction seriously for about a decade.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write medical nonfiction. I have written essays, blog posts and two books.

What cultural value do you see in writing/reading/storytelling/etc.?

I see my job as a writer to take a complicated topic like operating on babies or trauma care and distill it down to concepts any reader can understand and also to illustrate the drama and high stakes involved in medical practice.

How does your book relate to your spiritual practice or other life path?

As a woman in medicine I have always felt like an underdog so I look for those underdog heroes throughout medical history, especially women and minorities and include their contributions.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

Taking the reader inside the world of medicine for an up close and personal view of critical decisions and procedures.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Writing HURT required a lot of research into the history of trauma care, dating back to the Civil War. I spent a lot of time in The University of Texas libraries, an excellent resource for writers.

            Dr. Catherine Musemeche is a pediatric surgeon, attorney and author who lives in Austin, Texas. She was born and raised in Orange, Texas and attended Lutcher Stark High School. She is a graduate of the University of Texas in Austin, The University of Texas McGovern Medical School in Houston, The Anderson School of Management in Albuquerque, New Mexico and The University of Texas School of Law in Austin, Texas. Dr. Musemeche is a former surgery professor at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston, the MD Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute and the University of New Mexico where she was the Chief of Pediatric Surgery and Pediatric Trauma. She currently works in the field of regulatory medicine.
             In addition to publishing extensively in the medical literature, Dr. Musemeche has been a guest contributor to the New York Times. Her writing has also been published on,, in the anthology At the End of Life: True Stories About How We Die and in the Journal of Creative Nonfiction.  Her first book, Small: Life and Death on the Front Lines of Pediatric Surgery was nominated for the Pen American/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Award and was awarded the Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize for nonfiction. Her second book, Hurt: The Inspiring, Untold Story of Trauma Care will be published in September of this year.
Check out the other great blogs on the tour!
Guest Post #1
Excerpt #1
Author Interview #1
Guest Post #2
Excerpt #2
Author Interview #2
Guest Post #3
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