The Keene Toadstool Bookshop Hosts
Bill Toms, MD
presenting his book IN-PERSON
Quiet Lives: Stories from
Beyond the Stethoscope
Over the years, what does a Family Doctor hear? He may hear the fresh and strong heartbeats of a newborn baby just entering a complex and challenging world. She may hear the fading, weakening heartbeats of a tired Hospice patient. These Family Doctors will do so using the time-honored medical device known as a stethoscope. Even without using the stethoscope they will hear stories from their patients, some stories clinical and worried, others quiet and hidden. The stories may be about their patients' pains and losses, or about their joys and triumphs. They may be about their fears and weaknesses, or about their courage and strengths. They are usually quiet stories, lives beyond the headlines, the town gossip, even beyond Facebook. The stories are heard if the Family Doctor listens closely. These are the stories beyond the stethoscope, relayed here, in free-verse, as homage to those quiet and fascinating lives.
Dr. Bill Toms graduated from the University of Notre Dame, has an M.D. from Yale University School of Medicine, an M.P.H. from Yale University School of Public Health and completed his Family Medicine Residency at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Toms has practiced Family Medicine for over 45 years, the first 5 years in Gorham, NH as part of the National Health Service Corps, then for 26 years in Keene, NH and then for another 14 post-retirement years part-time in Keene and in Rangeley, ME. During these years he has been privileged to know many people who came to him as patients and ended up becoming his friends. Over the years he has written stories he has heard and witnessed and has included them here out of respect, admiration and affection for so many of these patient-friends. His greatest honor has been the trust that his patients placed in him to be their doctor. He hopes these stories help to illuminate the truth and power in so many of their lives, so many of their quiet lives.