A study by Dr Brendan Kelly, from the department of Adult Psychiatry at University College Dublin, focused on 20 randomly selected romantic novels, all of which focused on the world of medicine.
All the novels had heterosexual romantic plots set in primary care or emergency medicine (preferably featuring airborne medical teams). In the books, a muscular male doctor was inevitably paired with a female doctor or nurse.
Male protagonists tended to be tall and Mediterranean with chiselled features. All were brilliant at their jobs, usually emergency medicine, and had suffered personal tragedies in their past.
Their female counterparts were beautiful and determined, while compassionate. All had the mandatory requisite of previous tragedies and obstacles that had been overcome.
‘These novels draw attention to the romantic possibilities of primary care settings and the apparent inevitability of uncontrolled passions in the context of emergency medicine, especially as practiced on aeroplanes,’ said Dr Kelly.
‘These novels suggest there is an urgent need to include instruction in the arts of romance in training programmes for doctors and nurses who intend working in these settings.’
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