It is an insider's perspective of the medical world. As Dr. Peter becomes a doctor he is destroying himself as a person due to extensive work and concerns.
He began writing the book while serving on a submarine, basing it on his experiences as a medical resident. When it did not do particularly well, he began an extensive study of other books in the genre to see what made a bestseller. He decided to concentrate on medical suspense thrillers, mixing intricately plotted murder and intrigue with medical technology. He also brought controversial ethical and social issues affecting the medical profession to the attention of the general public.