Meet Nurse Diane Waycott and Dr. Ken Michelson. They look like a cute and cozy couple, but they have a torrid relationship. In between fighting to save lives, they are frequently fighting with each other.

“You don’t belong in a hospital! If you were honest you’d operate a beauty parlor.” Nurse Diane Waycott flung these bitter words at plastic surgeon Dr. Ken Michelson the night her mother died. Maddened with grief, she believed that her fiancé was more concerned with preserving vanity than saving life. But when a young girl, victim of an auto crash, was brought to Emergency with a bloody, unrecognizable face, Diane knew that only Ken could help.

Telling a doctor to quit medicine and open up a beauty parlor is hitting below the belt. I wonder what the good doctor did that pissed off his girlfriend. There is one positive side to fighting with your mate. It’s the kissing and making up part that’s really fun. Medical romance novels have been around for years and Dr. Brendan Kelly, a psychiatrist living in Ireland, has conducted a tongue-in-cheek study of my favorite literary genre.

Dr. Kelly looked at 20 medical romance novels selected at random and reported a “marked preponderance of brilliant, tall, muscular, male doctors with chiseled features, working in emergency medicine.” And as always, they are having relationships with weak, swooning nurses who would do anything to please their man. I’ve worked with a lot of doctors over the years, and I’ve not met many physicians who had chiseled features, but I have known far too many nurses who are people pleasing doctor- chasers. I went to school during a time when girls entered nursing so they could marry a doctor, but that’s another story.

Dr. Kelly laments that none of the doctors in the novels that he looked at were psychiatrist. I guess that medical romance writers think that psychiatrists are wimpy old men who are too bookish to be sexy, and that they all look like Sigmund Freud. The publishers of the Harlequin medical romance series said that they have a loyal following, and that their books are very popular in France. Maybe I will shift gears and start writing medical romance novels for a living. I can easily pen a book about all of the hot and steaming romances that I’ve seen between doctors and nurses throughout my nursing career.

Or would that be extortion?