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MAKING THE ROUNDS: Memoirs of a Small-Town Doctor by Dr. Gerald L. Miller and Shari  Miller Wagner

MAKING THE ROUNDS: Memoirs of a Small-Town Doctor

by Dr. Gerald L. Miller and Shari Miller Wagner

312 pages
A family doctor shares stories from his small-town practice.

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Category: Autobiography
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About the Book
MAKING THE ROUNDS shares the stories and insights of a compassionate doctor who practiced family medicine in the small working-class town of Markle, Indiana. This memoir develops the idea that, as a standard of health, communal wholeness is as important as individual wholeness, that health involves the sense of belonging to others and a place. The authors emphasize the need for doctors to see one life story in relation to other life stories, and, to that end, relevant and interesting town history is woven throughout the chapters.

MAKING THE ROUNDS includes not only what Dr. Miller gave to his community but also what his community gave him. For instance, the people in Markle raised money to help Dr. Miller and his partner, Dr. Kinzer, set up a practice and they sent a petition to President Johnson to keep the two doctors in Markle during the Vietnam War. Another unique aspect of this book is that it illustrates how a medical center can grow larger while maintaining a family-like atmosphere, a respect for all levels of staff, and a strong service ethic. As the Markle Medical Center grew, the doctors were able to set up a clinic in Haiti and later a hospital. An unforeseen development was that the people of Markle connected on a personal level with the people in Pierre Payan.

A celebration of quirkiness runs through this book--an appreciation for the idiosyncratic that's shared by the town itself, a village that boasts it's the “Home of 1,102 Happy People and 4 Grouches.”


“Small-town doctors have gone the way of small towns since Gerald Miller and Lee Kinzer set up practice in tiny Markle, Indiana in the 1960s. The technological advances that have so aggrandized medicine have exacted their cost, not just in dollars, but in human intimacy, in community. And those are not the stuff of nostalgia; they are health issues. Miller, in his second collaborative book with distinguished poet daughter Shari Wagner, guides us on a journey back to the heartwarming and heartbreaking time of $4 office visits, middle-of-the-night house calls and reliance on wits over widgets, all the while deflecting credit from an author who nevertheless emerges, like his late colleague, as nothing short of heroic. Making the Rounds is a gem—as a history lesson, elegy to loss, adventure series, and simple reminder: The physician can have no greater skills than listening and belonging.”
Former Indianapolis Star columnist and author of Indiana Out Loud: Dan Carpenter on the Heartland Beat

"This book is described by the authors as a love letter to the people of Markle. Dr. Miller touched the lives of his patients and community, and his patients and community touched his heart in return. It is a beautiful story of a family doctor deeply committed to the rural Indiana town he called home.”
Richard Feldman, M.D., FAAFP, former Indiana State Health Commissioner and author of Family Practice Stories: Memories, Reflections, and Stories of Hoosier Doctors of the Mid-Twentieth Century



About the Author
Dr. Gerald L. Miller and Shari  Miller Wagner Dr. Gerald Miller is a family physician who worked for forty-two years in a rural Indiana community before retiring from the Markle Medical Center in 2006.

Shari Miller Wagner is the author of The Harmonist at Nightfall: Poems of Indiana and teaches at the Indiana Writers Center.



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