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

“The Unfettered Urologist” by Martha B. Boone M.D. dives into the surprising connection between excess body fat, particularly belly fat, and a decrease in male sexual health and performance. The science behind it? Elevated estrogen levels caused by extra weight, which Martha explains effectively, can lead to lower testosterone. This, in turn, impacts muscle tone and, most importantly for me, hinders sexual performance. That revelation was the wake-up call I needed to finally prioritize weight loss.

While the sex-related impact was my personal motivator, the book offers a wealth of valuable information beyond that specific topic. If you’re looking for a fresh perspective on sexual and overall health and a science-backed nudge in the right direction, “The Unfettered Urologist” is definitely worth a read.

As a Louisiana native, I loved reading about Elizabeth’s daily challenges while honing her surgical skills and relationships at Charity Hospital. The setting was accurate and immersive, the characters quirky and colorful, and it had me craving a big shrimp po-boy! Boone’s writing grabbed me from the first page, and I enjoyed the book immensely! I highly recommend. I was provided an early copy of this book, Mother Charity, by the publisher for review.


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.