"Puswhisperer," Tales of an Infectious Disease Specialist, Coming this Fall from Bitingduck Press

Share Article

Mark Crislip’s collection of infectious disease anecdotes, "Puswhisperer," will be released November 1, 2014 in print and electronic form. The book consists of a year’s worth of clinical anecdotes originally published as a blog, now edited and revised for a non-specialist audience.

Cover art


Infectious diseases are just so cool

H1N1. Staph aureus. Traveler’s diarrhea. All examples of human interaction with the microbial world, which counts viruses, bacteria, and parasites too numerous to mention. Oregon infectious disease physician Mark Crislip has a strange relationship with this world—he spends most of his time trying to kill it, even as he appreciates the vital role microorganisms play in the Earth’s ecosystems.

"Puswhisperer" began as a series of blog posts at Medscape. Originally intended for residents and fellows, the anecdotes cover a wide range of diagnostic dilemmas and treatment quandaries. Which infection smells like buttered popcorn? Are some antibiotics “stronger” than others? Is it OK to eat the oysters? The stories have been revised and edited to make them accessible for a non-expert audience, including illustrations of some complex topics such as microbial resistance, parasite lifecycles, and microbial cell wall structures.

Along with clinical insight, the book provides a good dose of humor and insightful, microbe-centered philosophy. The author speculates on what the Earth might look like in five billion years, when animals and plants are gone, but bacteria remain. He also draws attention to the staggering rate of evolution in bacteria, made possible by short generation times and passing of genetic material from one bug to another. Finding a 60-year-old Staph strain in an old wound, Crislip tells us, is like looking out your window and seeing a Neanderthal shuffle by.

Crislip has been practicing Infectious Disease (ID) for over 23 years in the Pacific Northwest. He began blogging when he realized that the infectious disease cases he saw were too interesting to keep to himself. Mirroring one of his inspirations, the 1978 TV show "Connections" by James Burke, ID extends beyond medicine and into all facets of the human condition: history, politics, archeology, relationships, global warming and more. Why keep that amazing information to himself? ID is just so cool. The result is his growing multimedia empire which can be found here at Pusware. He always gets his flu shot on the first day it is available.

"Puswhisperer" will be available in paperback and all electronic formats, DRM-free. A full-service publisher handling both fiction and non-fiction, Bitingduck specializes in books with science or nerd themes. Upcoming catalogs will feature young adult titles (2014) and hard sci-fi (2015). Submissions in all genres are welcome, particularly nonfiction; the submissions guidelines are found on the publisher site.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Jay Nadeau
Bitingduck Press, LLC
+1 6265078033
Email >
Visit website