One of the most common pieces of advice for aspiring author is to write about what you know. When I first started doing rotations in the hospital as a medical student I knew it would be an interesting setting for a story. Still, when I began writing Vague Pains all those years ago I still felt like an outsider in the hospital. It was easier for me to write through the eyes of a patient (Henry in the book). Over the years my perspective changed, so I added a doctor-in-training, and finally a practicing physician. None of these character are fully autobiographical, but I did put a little of myself into all three. In a way the book is a conversation with myself in different stages of my life.