“Dr. Beach Conger’s It’s Probably Nothing is the inspiring tale of a fine and caring physician’s life and times in two places that could scarcely be more different: rural Vermont and inner-city Philadelphia. Written with great humor, wisdom, common sense, and compassion, It’s Probably Nothing is a uniquely American memoir by a very insightful American individualist. I loved it.”—Howard Frank Mosher, author of Walking to Gatlinburg
By the author of Bag Balm and Duct Tape.
Now available in our bookstore, It’s Probably Nothing continues the tale woven by Dr. Beach Conger in his first book, Bag Balm and Duct Tape. This new collection sees Conger and his wife yearning for new challenges and relocating to the suburbs of Philadelphia after 25 years in mythical Dumster, Vermont. Conger gamely takes a job in a teaching hospital in the poorest part of the city and gets to experience urban bureaucratized medicine and its trials—a far cry from the more idiosyncratic and hands-on version he practiced in Vermont. After 5 years Conger and his wife move back to Dumster, where he rediscovers more about his patients’ capacity to both cope and cherish one another than he expected.
Each of the tightly constructed chapters is centered around a particular patient or particular theme in medicine. It’s Probably Nothing is both funny and poignant, and showcases both Conger’s irreverent view into medicine and his profound empathy for the characters he encounters along the way. His experience highlights how medicine—and problems with our current medical system—can remain the same and yet be vastly different across class, race, and region. Among the people the reader meets are small-town farmers and other heroes, Vermont celebrities, and the occasional reclusive author.
About the Author
Beach Conger, M.D.
Beach Conger, MD, was born in 1941 in New York City and grew up in Pleasantville, N.Y. He graduated from Harvard Medical School in 1967 and did his training in internal medicine at Boston City Hospital and the University of California San Francisco. From 1969 to 1971 he was an offer in the Epidemic Intelligence Service at the CDC. From 1977 to 2001, he practiced general internal medicine at Mt. Ascutney Hospital in Windsor, Vt. He then spent five years teaching hospital medicine at Medical College of Pennsylvania and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, serving as chief of hospital medicine at Medical College of Pennsylvania and Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, serving as chief of hospital medicine at the latter. In 2006 he returned to Vermont to practice in Windsor. He is a member of the Dartmouth Medical School faculty, where he precepts medical students in their primary care rotations.