Apr 22

Obviously, I drifted away from posting pages around Christmastime. It happens. Part of the problem was, and is, that Chapter 5 is chock-full of little tables giving sample search engine results for medical tourism terms. And tables are a pain (or relative pain) to move from printed page to web page.

But I’ll figure it out, soon.

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Dec 20

Happy holidays to all. It has been a hectic month and I haven’t had time to make much progress here for a couple of weeks. Surely, I’ll do better in the New Year.

The content of today’s page, I know, worried me back in 2005-2006. Choosing patient support sites for medical tourism and putting them in a book seemed like a bit of a crapshoot. If the sites disappeared, went rogue, even became … less than useful … they’d still be in Beauty from Afar forever. And it would matter, at least to me.

Chapter 5 Page 3  | Patient Support Sites for Medical Tourism

Happily, I chose well. PSJourneys.com and ObesityHelp.com, among other web site forums for patients, have not just survived but thrived.  MedRetreat remains among the leading medical travel companies.

The list would be longer if I was writing it today — but not a lot longer. There have been many attempts to establish online forums for medical travel and most of them have been shortlived.

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Dec 01

The whole notion of what a book IS, is changing. Everyone knows that, right? You don’t have to be a reader of books in digital form, as I have been for more than five years, to appreciate that what we read, how we read, is changing. Beauty from Afar kind of got caught in the early stages of all this change. My publisher did not release it as an e-book in 2006. I’m guessing that if BFA was released in 2009, there would have been an e-book. And I would further guess that if it were a book of its sort five years from now, it might be published only as an e-book.

Not that I think “real,” paper books are going away entirely, anytime soon. But there will be less of them, and more digital books. The fact is, Beauty from Afar is one of those works that would have been better as an e-book, in some future time of e-book ubiquity.

Why? There would have been pictures, lots of pictures. And the Internet addresses — URLs — would have been clickable and that would have changed how I wrote the book, too. I am of the opinion that URLs do not belong in paper books except maybe in foot- or end notes.

Nonetheless, I had no choice but to put them in, for people who might read the book and then want to go to their computers and type them in. I tried to put in as few as I could … I think they are wrong for printed books. They are impermanent.

There are quite a few of them in today’s page. Now, at least, they are clickable.

Chapter 5 Page 2 | Medical Travel and Cosmetic Surgery: Top Resources

Nov 22

You probably found this blog post by searching the Internet, which might mean that you can skim or even skip Chapter 5 of Beauty from Afar, which starts today:

Chapter 5 Page 1 | Research, Research … and More Research

But then again, you might learn something even if you’re a whiz at Internet research. This is probably the most blatant “How-To” self-help-style chapter in the book and if you dislike self-help books generally, which I do, maybe you want to take a look through and see how I managed to make the material palatable … which I’m guessing I did. It starts off OK, anyway.

I really did have the notion that I *might* get enough of a book advance for Beauty from Afar to take a budget tour of the world’s best hospitals. As it turned out, I didn’t get quite that much and the advance payment mostly went for things like food and shelter.

I found the silver lining in having to do most of my research online and by phone, as you’ll see.

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Nov 20

We’re done with procedures and pricing. That’s all I’ve got, for now, anyway.

Chapter 4 Page 7 | What Else is Out There?

I liked finishing the chapter with the comments of the Indian M.D. who was elected president of the International Society of Minimally Invasive Cardiothoracic Surgery in 2005. Dr. Naresh Trehan has been a controversial figure at times in India, but I do not believe anyone would dispute his accomplishments. He said he would build MediCity, and he has:

Multi-speciality hospital Medanta commences operations

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Nov 15

I have not exactly breezed through Chapter 4, but it will be wrapped up with the next post. Today, we brush against: hair implants, ear pinning, weight loss surgery and dental procedures. This concludes Beauty from Afar’s summary of cosmetic procedures that people frequently seek outside of their own country.

Chapter 4 Page 6 | Other Cosmetic Procedures

In the conclusion of Chapter 4, I touch briefly on what is generally called complex medicine — no disrespect to cosmetic surgeons intended. This has to do more with treatment of disease, life-saving surgery, etc. And, of course, medical travel includes such care as well … though to date, at least for those who travel out of the United States, dentistry and cosmetic surgery remains the largest part of medical tourism.

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