Dr. Galen L. Barbour

A forty-plus-year academic career of health care with an emphasis on quality of care and performance improvement provided many examples of how the health care system could be dangerously manipulated. Such examples provided the basis for the plots and characters of these books. The medical setting of each murder, occasionally complicated by some particular aspect of hospital procedure gone awry, is portrayed against police procedure. Characters include homicide detectives and key figures of academic medical life. Some items mirror events from actual cases, others are thought experiments but based on real issues and process problems; the proposed improvements in health care delivery generally reflect actual occurrences, including the reaction of personnel .

Medical Murder Mysteries

About the author

The author obtained medical training in Arkansas in the 1960s, where he practiced and taught Internal Medicine and Nephrology before taking on administrative responsibilities within the Veterans Health Affairs national system and then in the Uniformed Services University. His writing as a retired Professor of Medicine reflects a long-standing emphasis on concepts contained in “Search for Excellence” and “At Home in the Universe”.

Author Career

In various settings, the author has worked in health care systems in the Mid-West and the Mid-Atlantic region and has consulted in health care and performance improvement in individual hospitals and medical centers from Maine to Florida, Denver, the West Coast, and to Hawaii. He and his wife live in Virginia.


In The Rearview Mirror

This latest book is more a retrospective coming of age novel than a murder mystery. The view through the retrospectroscope concerns northern Montana in the 1950s. The memories are of an 80 year-old army veteran recounted to three high school students working a social science project. The memories convey how the old man, a recent immigrant from Ireland in the 1950s, experienced his teenage years in a sparsely populated area of bitter winter and hot summers. The old man spent his life running away from those experiences and the recounting of them to the students brings back other, darker thoughts and memories, creating a stressful situation he seems unable to exit.

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