Get to know me: I die for books but I live for television. The former is my bff, the latter is my one true love. Give me a meaty, well-written drama with an ensemble cast of Emmy nominees who can transport me to another time, place, or life experience, and I’ll binge it on a loop until it becomes embedded in my emotional memory like a song. Earlier this year, ER, the 15-seasons-long saga of daily life at County General in Chicago from the perspective of its emergency department, finally became available to stream (on Hulu). Created by novelist Michael Crichton, the show debuted in 1994 and holds up like a motherfucker; even its so-called bad seasons toward the end that no longer included anyone from the original cast make Grey’s Anatomy look like General Hospital when it comes to its medicine. Never pandering to its audience, ER calls procedures by their proper names and manages to educate, even as it works to destroy you emotionally with its too-often relatable human dramas. So, for months I’ve been watching all 335 hours of the show at home. Since episodes are often on as background noise the way some people do with NPR, I figured I’ve absorbed at least 1,000 hours of medical school by now, practically a junior resident. Right when I was missing the high of seeing an undiscovered episode ever again, I had the pleasure of meeting editor Megha Majumdar at Catapult, who told me about Paul Seward, MD, a now-retired pediatrician turned emergency department specialist, whose first book Patient Care is just as mesmerizing a read as seasons 1 – 4 are to watch. I couldn’t put it down.

Hospital hallways are a special kind of convoluted, methodical in their turns meant to deposit visitors with mysterious efficiency at a set of double doors affixed with red “no” signs.It seems like a mistake when I finally arrive at these doors, squinting at the walls in hopes of spotting a magic button, but it’s exactly the right place.Someone swipes a card in a slot near the knob.The doors open with a hesitant jerk.“Go to the very end.Last room to your left,” a nurse says, the soft splat splat of her shoes receding amidst whirs and beeps and white light.The white of seventies sci-fi shows.The coldness of unclasped hands.This is exactly the right place.