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CODE BLUES: A Surgeon's Journey with Depression
Jan. 10, 2022
Mel Nutig, MD
Non-fiction: Memoir
Picture this: You’re woozy from sedatives, strapped on a gurney being rolled into an operating room. You hear whispered words among the nursing staff that your acclaimed surgeon is rumored to have a mental illness. Do you struggle to sit up and stop the proceedings? Or do you allow yourself to slip into an anesthetic sleep and pray that you heard them wrong? That was the disastrous scenario, which for more than forty years Dr. Mel Nutig had to avoid. CODE BLUES: A Surgeon’s Journey with Depression reveals Dr. Nutig’s secret battle with mental illness, both before obtaining his medical degree, as well as all through a successful career spanning more than four decades.CODE BLUES races out the gate from Dr. Nutig’s Coney Island boyhood though to a very personal topsy-turvy voyage through his college years and med school training to his tremendously successful, yet horribly afflicted life. His is a story of determination, transcendence, and sheer will and will, no doubt, inspire others struggling with this debilitating disease, particularly for those working in the medical and nursing professions, and for those struggling with the secrecy and avoidance of the stigmatization of one’s mental health issues in both one’s private and professional life. If there is a whisper in our ears while reading this book, it is this: We can, through our human resilience, overcome our inner demons and internal struggles to not only contribute to the health and well-being of others, but to learn to live with our clinical depression and still achieve a highly successful, meaningful, and complete, fulfilled life.
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As an early champion of Telemedicine, Dr. Nutig was selected as the first chairman of Cedars-Sinai’s Telemedicine Committee. He was a member of the California Telehealth/Telemedicine Coordination Project, where he worked on their final publication, “Telehealth & Telemedicine: Taking Distance Out of Caring.” He was chosen to testify before the California Senate’s Health Committee, which eventually passed the nation’s first law recognizing the legitimacy of Telemedicine. He has spoken at Telemedicine symposia across the nation.
Dr. Nutig served as team physician at the US Olympic Training Centers in Squaw Valley and Colorado Springs. He also was a daily on-air expert in sports medicine at KFWB-AM radio, where he wrote, researched, edited, and recorded all the episodes, five days each week for six months. Originally from Coney Island, Dr. Nutig earned his undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College. He attended medical school at the University of Bologna in north-central Italy where he arrived not knowing one word of the language. Back home with his M.D. degree he completed his Orthopedic Surgical residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University in the Bronx, New York and then did a fellowship in joint replacement surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Upon the completion of his training, he moved to Beverly Hills and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he had a long and successful practice spanning more than four decades. He retired from clinical practice at the end of 2018.
Barbara Ellis
Scribes Literary Agency
phone: 845.745.2412
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