Last Thursday, June 24, Dr. Tina Funt spoke about her 2019 novel The Doctor’s Secret in a webinar with Elizabeth Aloni. Dr. Funt is a medical and cosmetic dermatologist who has practiced in Garden City for 32 years. She resides in both Manhattan and Quogue. The Doctor’s Secret is her first book, though she has dreamed of writing for a long time, having received her degree in English literature at university before turning to medical school.
The Doctor’s Secret follows a protagonist named Julie Kent from the 1960s to the present day. Julie appears to the outside world as someone who can do no wrong as she flies through medical school and marries a beautiful husband. Inside, however, she battles financial struggles, infidelities and addiction in her friends and herself.
The book is loosely based on Dr. Funt’s life growing up in Brooklyn and attending medical school, though she was quick to point out that most of the book is imaginary, or at least exaggerated for effect. “You have to make it interesting,” she said while speaking about the artistic changes she made within the novel.
Dr. Funt also cited her emotional experience as a doctor listening to patients’ life stories as helpful while writing the book. “I’ve heard so many stories, so much heartache, so much confession in those rooms, that it gave me a tremendous insight into human nature,” she said.