The Big Free

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Martha B. Boone: The Big Free

The “Big Free” is Charity Hospital and it’s 1982 in New Orleans, and Charity is a big medical free-for-all. Elizabeth is one of the first women in the toughest surgery department in America. With her pearls and her pink plaid socks, she doesn’t fit in …at first.

Half the doctors who start the surgery program never finish. Nothing in her proper southern upbringing prepares Elizabeth for the violence, debauchery and intensity of inner city trauma surgery.

The Big Free is filled with unforgettable characters living the best and the worst New Orleans has to offer.

Elizabeth learns more in six months at Charity than she learned in four years of medical school in Charleston.

Will she make the cut, or will fear, exhaustion from the grueling pace, and disgust of the senseless violence prove too much?

She has fascinating helpers on her journey. A tough, but fair professor of Trauma, a bossy Creole nurse, an effeminate Vietnam veteran technician, chauvinistic male coworkers, and frightened and brave patients mold the young doctor. You will laugh and cry and love the characters.

The Big Free is filled with the flavors that are only New Orleans. It is a coming of age story and is told as only a true medical insider can tell.

“I don’t know if being a surgeon is for me or not. Maybe, it is just all too much,” said Dr. Roberts.

Come on the journey to see if this compassionate young woman makes the surgery intern cut, or not.

Listen to Dr. Boone on “The Doctor’s Lounge” discussing The Big Free:


* Photos credit to Dr. Maffets


Brilliant storytelling and raucous humor. Author Dr. Boone’s take on Urology is an unexpected total reading experience. Masterful and uniquely written with insider information. A published work worthy of every woman and man.

CAPTIVATING! I could not put it down! This is an amazing story of what life is like in a big city charity hospital. And not just ANY big city – NEW ORLEANS. One of the many things I love about this book is the flavor of New Orleans that permeates the pages. The characters are charming, flawed, fun, crazy, every personality under the sun – and the author brings them to life in a way that is mesmerizing. I wanted the book to go on and on – I sure hope that there is a sequel in the works!

What a great book. I laughed I cried I was amazed I was intrigued. My eyes were open to a world I had no knowledge of. Boone brings the characters out and Vivid 3D. You can smell the green paint on the hospital walls. I enjoyed the book so much the first time that I’m reading it a second time and cannot wait for her next book to arrive.