Uncovering The White Coat Effect
L.B. Wells is the pseudonym for a very successful Board-Certified Surgeon, an ambitious physician who made her way through the jungle of medical training while overcoming the resistance of the male-dominated world of surgery. The pseudonym allows her the freedom to plumb the raw truths of her life, including the male prejudices that made her personal journey so painful, Wells has written a novel that unleashes the ambition necessary for a woman to push through the long road to becoming an esteemed surgeon while discovering sexuality and forbidden love for the first time.
Entitled “The White Coat Effect,” Wells has created a multicultural story that is often overlooked in today’s literary landscape. Her protagonist, Rory, a student from a devout Jewish background, is a late bloomer who loses her virginity in her twenties. Her early interactions with men are bumpy affairs that have her wondering what love and sex are all about. With humor and compassion, Wells describes how her mother kept her under wraps and worried more about the upkeep of their elaborate suburban home than her coming-of-age frustrations.
Fluent in four languages, L.B. Wells has received numerous awards for her global humanitarian work and professional accomplishments. She has founded several medical programs around the developing world and worked on initiatives to ensure medical screenings for the homeless and underinsured here in the U.S. Writer’s Life caught up with the mysterious L.B. Wells for this exclusive interview.
Tell us about your journey as a writer.
For as long as I can remember, writing has been a passion of mine. I loved all things writing and literature. I was actually a Spanish literature major in college while I simultaneously took pre-med courses.
You're a doctor by profession, has writing always been a passion of yours?
Yes, writing always taps into my creative and sensual side. Writing comes naturally to me while other subjects require more "work" and "study." Early on in my career, I would write poignant short stories about my patients' journeys- I blinded their names and never submitted the stories, but I had to write about them as a way to deal with the heavy emotion associated with a career in oncology.
Why did you decide to write The White Coat Effect?
I felt that The White Coat Effect showcased multiple relatable topics, ranging from forbidden love to tradition versus modernity, a child's struggle to gain independence from her family while still loving her family members. The book is a search for identity through heavy contemplation, study and ambition, and of course, sex and love. The main character, Rory tried to define herself in relation to her work, her family, her ancestry, and her social life, and her present sex life. While she has a rocky start, as many of us do, she begins to understand her body and soul and that makes her feel happy and free. I think the biggest struggle she faces is how to feel that happy and free while incorporating her strict sense of responsibility to help others through her medical career and her ambition to become a top surgeon. There is something if not many things for everyone in this story, peppered with the excitement and tantalization of a young, awkward girl turned beautiful, navigating intense sexual experiences.
Do you see similarities between yourself and your main character, Rory?
While I grew up in a strict house and was not allowed to date before college, my own parents were/are far more loving than the parents I portrayed in the book. However, I experienced a very long awkward period before coming into my own. As a late bloomer, my self-esteem suffered, as deep down inside I always felt unattractive and uninteresting. That has been a hurdle that I strangely still contend with. Furthermore, my four grandparents were Holocaust survivors. While not a religious Jew, I am very proud of my heritage and it means a great deal to me. I used those tenets as a basis for the book. Most of the characters I filled the book with were fictional or at least partially fictional, but I relied upon those characters and interactions to bring the conflicts I felt like a girl and young woman to life.
Who would this book appeal to? Fans of romance, women searching to identify with their sexuality?
I think this book would appeal to women who enjoy romance but want to read something that is more realistic. This story is not a fairy tale- it is a romance based in reality and is highly relatable to most people, women and men alike. I even see men reading and enjoying this book- certainly couples. I share some inside secrets from medical training that I think all-comers would find interesting. There's something for everyone in this book, from medical knowledge to sex. It is my hope that this book makes the readers both laugh and cry as they invest in Rory's story.
What do you say about the belief that some of that doctors are not artistically creative?
While some doctors are more left-brained and prefer scientific thought, many have very rich creative minds. In my opinion, it requires artistic thought to be able to comprehend science, as it is also a fluid language. I have come across many physicians who are excellent musicians, artists, comedians, and writers.
What would be the one message you want your readers to take away from reading your book?
I want the readers to come away with the message that, while love can conquer all, it doesn't always. People are multidimensional- they can be career-driven, love-driven, sex-driven, family-oriented, tradition-oriented, and those aspects don't occur in a vacuum, they can all exist at the same time. This book shows that life can be complicated and there isn't always only one right answer.
What would you say to someone who says away from the erotic genre?
I would like to ask that person to give it a chance. The sexual side of life is important, whether it be within a marriage or a first experience. It also demonstrates the consequences of sex when love is not in the equation (versus when it is), and can serve as a life lesson on how to protect one's own feelings. Relationships in life are very important for most people, and I think this book can serve as both a guide and a demonstration that we all experience relationship ups and downs on our quest for love.
For more information on LB Wells please visit https://drlbwells.com