Zap2it: With all your activities as CNN’s chief medical correspondent, plus your medical practice, how does being an executive producer on the series version of your novel “Monday Mornings” factor into your schedule?
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: When you do a new activity, it’s kind of a form of rest for your brain. It’s hard to explain, but my mom always used to say, “A change of activity is a form of rest.” I like this stuff; I’m not a big vacation taker, and I’m actually not a big television watcher.
I work quite a bit, and I try to write something every day. It’s almost like exercise in some ways. I wrote my thoughts on (the school shootings in) Connecticut, and it isn’t something that’s for public consumption, but I think that exercise is important.
Zap2it: Which medical series have inspired you?
Dr. Sanjay Gupta: “St. Elsewhere” was probably the one I first started watching regularly, then there was the “Chicago Hope” era. I’ve watched some of the other ones, but I have kids, and in my stuff the viewing is dictated by my young children now … if any TV is being watched at all.
As a surgeon, there’s a real precision, and everyone works really hard and all the details really matter. Not that I thought people in Hollywood were slackers, but their attention to detail is phenomenal. And even if I know there’s only a small fraction of the audience that will catch it, anything I brought up, they executed and made happen. I was pleased about that.