New Jersey physician writes novel “The White Coat Dairies”

Physician and author Madi Sinha with her debut novel, The White Coat Diaries. Photo:
Madi Sinha Instagram

Madi Sinha, a practicing physician from New Jersey, recently came out with her debut novel, The White Coat Diaries, that is about a young doctor’s struggle to survive residency, love, and life.

Categorized as women’s fiction/medical fiction, Sinha’s novel where ‘Grey’s Anatomy meets Scrubs’ was inspired by her experiences as a medical student and resident.

In The White Coat Diaries, the protagonist Norah Kapadia, who is studious and brilliant has just landed the medical residency of her dreams. But after a disastrous first day, she’s ready to quit. Disgruntled patients, sleep deprivation, and her duty to be the “perfect Indian daughter” have her questioning her future as a doctor.

Enter chief resident Ethan Cantor. He is everything Norah aspires to be: respected by the attending physicians, calm during emergencies, and charismatic with his patients. And as he morphs from Norah’s mentor to something more, it seems her luck is finally changing.

However, when a fatal medical mistake is made, pulling Norah into a cover-up, she must decide how far she is willing to go to protect the secret, the book blurb reads.

Sinha feels it is an exciting time to be an Indian-American author. Growing up in the 80’s it was nearly impossible for her to find novels written by South Asian authors, and literally impossible to find novels with Indian-American main characters.

“And while we’ve come a long way since then, there’s still the sense that South Asian stories are only accepted by mainstream publishing if they fit within a certain mold. These days, when you see adult novels with South Asian main characters, you’re usually looking at one of two things: either literary fiction set in India/dealing with the specific experience of being South Asian or South Asian-American, or rom-com/romance,” Sinha told Desi Talk.

Sinha is hoping to see suspense/thrillers, mystery, horror, sci-fi, fantasy, and speculative fiction with South Asian main characters in the future. “I am looking forward to the day we see more books with South Asian main characters driving the story that aren’t about being South Asian, that aren’t about how different or “other” we are,” said Sinha.

She said she is proud of having written a book that is, at heart, about medicine.

“It happens to feature an Indian-American main character, but the story doesn’t hinge on her Indian-ness. When we talk about media representation for ourselves as South Asians, I think we should think broadly about what that means and push back against the prevailing ideas of where and how we are allowed to be represented,” she adds.

Sinha has two more books signed with her current publisher, Berkley. Her second book is about a gynecologist and deals with themes of class and feminism. It will be published in May 2022. The third book, which she cannot say too much about yet, is expected to be out in the spring of 2023.






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