This spring marked the publication of my first book, a surgeon’s memoir chock full of local history and cheeky anecdotes I wrote with Calgary surgeon Dr. Norm Schachar.
I spent hundreds of hours interviewing Norm and dozens of his colleagues to collect stories covering his family history, the beginning of his medical education, his journey to Calgary where he never expected to spend his career, all the while capturing snippets of history in the Department of Surgery at the University of Calgary. In addition to researching and writing the book, I designed the interior and the cover. It’s sort of my first-born. The Department was published in April 2015 by ZEDS Comic Communication.
GET THE BOOK: The Department is available now at the University of Calgary medical school bookstore. Order directly from them and get free shipping! Contact Les Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org or 403-220-6863.
When Dr. Norman Schachar began his medical internship at Calgary’s newly unpacked Foothills Hospital in 1970, he had no idea what was unfolding behind the scenes. While he was struggling to see inside the little holes in patients’ heads, sneaking his future wife out of his apartment above the operating rooms, and following his newfound surgical idol into the bathroom, a brand new Department of Surgery was bursting forth at the University of Calgary.
THE DEPARTMENT: A Surgeon’s Memories… Before I Forget is part memoir, part history book. It follows surgeon-scientist Dr. Schachar’s career from his first diaper change through surgical advances, political intrigue, hospital implosions and 80-odd sheep. Dr. Schachar grew up in and alongside Calgary’s city-wide Department of Surgery and, with the help of dozens of colleagues through the years, he shares some of the most memorable tales here in The Department.