Paramedic and author Tom Notestine discusses his book Paramedic to the Prince in this episode of the Medical Author Chat podcast.
Tom talked to me by Skype from his home in Qatar. There is a short delay between my questions and his responses and some distortion in the call due to our connection. Nonetheless, this episode is well worth a listen.
From California to Saudi Arabia
After six years as a paramedic in Los Angeles Tom wanted a change. Shortly after the first Gulf war he began working as a paramedic at a military hospital in Saudi Arabia near Riyadh. That experience led him to be a member of the private medical team for then crown-prince Abdullah who is now the King of Saudi Arabia. The medical team, always within two minutes of the prince was two medics and three physicians. In our conversation Tom explains his global travels as part of the medical team on the Prince’s private 747 and 300 foot yacht.
Working in the Middle East
When Tom went to work in the Middle East he was not able to find much information about the culture, healthcare, and what to expect living there. He explains that the book is a combination of his EMS experiences, he experiences learning and living in a unique culture and his advice for EMS professionals that are considering work in the Middle East.
Tom also discusses how the perception of Americans has changed during his 20 years living and working in the Middle East. One of the themes of the book is the “changing relationship between Saudi Arabia and America as well as the rise of terrorism.”
Advice for Authors and EMS Professionals
Tom specifically encourages aspiring authors to keep a journal about their experiences. He explains, “everyone has a story to tell.” Tom answers every email he receives about working in the Middle East as a paramedic and has a section of his website devoted to the topic – ParamedictothePrince.com.