Looking Within (Book Review Pedcast) by Doc Smo and Sonya Corina Williams

If you have a child in your family interested in pursuing a career in medicine and healthcare, do I have a great gift that you can give them!  Stay tuned to learn more.


Musical Intro


The Art of Telling a Story

 A good storyteller can take a mediocre story line and make it exciting. Consider what happens when you start with incredibly fascinating stories and have them told by a master storyteller. Then you have greatness. Such is the experience readers will get when reading a new book by radiologist Dr. Cullen Ruff titled Looking Within, published by Torchflame Books.


General Thoughts

 In the introduction to Looking Within, Dr. Ruff retold an experience he had in medical school when one of his anatomy professors made the comment that professor believed, a person’s soul, their essence, resides in their brainstem, a part of the brain where core body functions like breathing and heart function are controlled. Looking Within, seemed to me to be Dr. Ruff’s quest to understand what a person’s internal organs reveal about their uniqueness.  Could the incredible images available to a radiologist be a way of finding where our “souls” actually reside? I think not, but as one reads Looking Within, you will see that standard radiology images do sometimes have revealing stories and secrets attached to them.


As you listen to the vignettes Dr. Ruff spins from his radiology career ( which are fascinating by the way), he shows his readers how his films and scans reveal more than just disease. Each tells a story if they are examined in context with that patient’s life. All from a medical professional that rarely meets the patients they are examining. Amazing! The stories vary from accidentally uncovering child abuse in an infant to discovering anorexia nervosa in a young woman- real life cases that Dr. Ruff retells in a very sensitive and entertaining fashion.


Do radiologists have special powers of looking within that other physicians don’t?  No, as I thought of it, you could argue that all medical specialties have the power to look within, using their own tools.  Medical specialties like pediatrics, look within using observation, physical diagnosis, interview, laboratory studies, genetic studies, and of course, a little radiology to boot. I must admit however, radiologist have some of the coolest ways of looking within that have ever been invented.



 You may be wondering why I am bringing a book about radiology to an audience interested in pediatrics and child wellness? Well, as I read Looking Within, I realized what a wonderful book this is for a young adult interested in pursuing a career in medicine. The book is well written and displays a respect, empathy, and sensitivity for people confronting serious health obstacles that Dr. Ruff obviously possesses.  The range of the diseases discussed, looking at the actual images in the cases discussed,  as well as Dr. Ruff’s recollections of his medical school experience make this book a fascinating for young readers contemplating a future in healthcare. Revealing secrets about a person’s life via a scan is not only a clever hook for a book, but mighty entertaining. I recommend Looking Within and give it 4.75/5 Doc Smo Stars.