“The Lost Son: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Road to Redemption” by Peter McNeela, M.D., M.P.H., is the latest release from No Frills Buffalo publishing company.
“It was my long-held dream to be a physician,” wrote the author. “Medicine seemed to perfectly blend my strong aptitude for science and the intense calling to help others imbued by my Catholic upbringing. I was an outstanding student, a good athlete, a huge fan of rock music and sports, and a mostly honest, obedient son — in essence, an All-American boy. But clinical training turned me into something I had never before experienced: a failure. My naive, idealistic view of medical practice was shattered by the nightmarish reality of working in various hospital settings; the absurdly long hours, brutal sleep deprivation and numerous gruesome injuries to which I was exposed inflicted a devastating toll on my psyche. Severe anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts and finally a full-blown nervous breakdown nearly led to my premature death and forced me to abandon my unattainable dream.
“One year after leaving medical residency, desperately in need of some meaning and a reason to continue with my meager existence, I embarked on a solitary, cross-country trip in search of my destiny. Over the course of three wondrous weeks, as I trekked across America — from the Deep South, including an unforgettable, bohemian weekend in New Orleans, to the splendor of the Grand Canyon, from the sinful temptations of Las Vegas, to the pristine wilderness of Utah — I gradually made peace with my broken past, learned how to truly live again, and looked optimistically toward a better future.”
The book, based on McNeela’s ragged travel diary dutifully documented during his journey, chronicles the author’s transformation from perennial honors student to miserable physician to hopeful seeker and repentant sinner to ultimately a confident writer who found his voice in the Great American West and returned home with newfound purpose. Thus, this is a tale of one man’s unique quest for his identity and redemption, and the noble goal of helping to make this world a better place.
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