Making the Rounds

Defying Norms in Love and Medicine

Non-Fiction - LGBTQ
344 Pages
Reviewed on 09/27/2022
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Author Biography

Patricia Grayhall is a medical doctor and author of Making the Rounds; Defying Norms in Love and Medicine as well as articles in Queer Forty and The Gay and Lesbian Review. After nearly forty years of medical practice, this is her debut, very personal, and frank memoir about coming out as a lesbian in the late 1960s and training to become a doctor when society disapproved of both for a woman. Patricia lives with the love of her life on an island in the Pacific Northwest.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

What makes a successful memoir, one that others outside your immediate family might want to read? In my experience as a memoir writing coach, it takes the courage to bare your soul, tell the truth, and, above all, have a story to share to which strangers can relate because their untold secrets may be similar to yours, or at least as difficult to tell. That is exactly what Patricia Grayhall has done with Making The Rounds.

Writing under a pen name, Patricia gave me an insider’s look at a lifestyle I have always been curious about - lesbianism. With all the political and religious arguments and media sensationalism surrounding gay pride, those of us who aren’t part of that lifestyle get such a distorted view of the realities. We have no idea of the painful struggles those belonging to the LGBTQ community have faced, both historically and currently. Thanks to Patricia’s raw honesty about how early in her life she recognized her attraction to females, her mother’s expectations of her as a pretty female, and her desperate attempts with men to be “straight” that resulted in an abortion, I am vastly enlightened. Even more mind-blowing for me was what Patricia experienced in her career…medicine. Her grueling schedule was one thing, but what she encountered thanks to homophobic attitudes truly angered me. 

What was most touching about Patricia’s story was her unrelenting, heartbreaking search for a life partner. It took years of painful relationships and breakups to realize she didn’t know what she was looking for. In her unpretentious, conversational style, she placed her often jumbled emotions on the table for us all to read. But as we memoir readers always hope, Patricia gave us her happy ending. Bravo! Congratulations, Patricia Grayhall, on writing a most successful memoir.

K.C. Finn

Making The Rounds: Defying Norms in Love and Medicine is a work of non-fiction in the LGBTQ+ memoir subgenre. It is suitable for the general reading audience and was penned by Patricia Grayhall. The book charts the author's life as she pursues her dream of becoming a doctor after coming out as a lesbian. Her journey to success in the medical field comes at the cost of preventing opportunities for a romantic relationship to develop, and with the additional issues that come with being a gay woman within a male-dominated profession in a homophobic period of history. It takes all the determination she has to find a place where she can feel loved.

In today’s world – depending on exactly what part of the world you are in - people are a lot more willing to recognize the importance of hearing queer voices talk about their experiences, which is a gratifying change for the better. It’s important though to remember our history and the experiences of those who lived during less tolerant times. In this book, Patricia Grayhall has beautifully distilled her lived experience into a compelling memoir of her time as a physician in an era where a woman in medicine had to fight for the respect men were given freely. There were so many hard-won lessons in the author's life that she shares frankly with readers in this work so that her experiences with identity, acceptance, empowerment, and relationships may illuminate the path for others facing those struggles. Making The Rounds is an anthem to the deeply human experience of wanting to belong. It effortlessly moves between being thrilling and inspiring as it charts the life of an extraordinary woman who refused to settle for less in a world that found her existence hard to accept.

Vincent Dublado

Making the Rounds: Defying Norms in Love and Medicine by Patricia Grayhall is an emotionally charged, up-close, and personal memoir that chronicles her experiences as a lesbian in the late 1960s and continues during the 1970s while she was training to become a doctor. It is an insightful exploration of choices as the author walks you through her early beginnings, starting as a teenager when she often preferred the company of male playmates. Her tomboyish fashion sense often saw her at odds with her mom, who would have preferred to see her in a dress. Growing up in the conservative state of Arizona meant that she had to keep her feelings private, knowing that she was more attracted to girls. At the age of 19, she traveled to San Francisco to meet like-minded souls who shared the same orientation. There, a podiatrist inspired her to become a doctor. As a medical practitioner, she had to face the gender discrimination in that field that was common during the 70s.

Making the Rounds is smart, profound, thought-provoking, and all-out engaging. Patricia Grayhall’s writing brims with a passionate desire to share her reality and the book will elicit empathy in every reader. Regardless of your sexual orientation, Grayhall describes a stark reality that each of us can learn something from. It gives strength and encouragement to keep you moving forward. This is not just a story of one woman’s reality, it is a documented piece of history from the point of view of an ordinary person who has witnessed and lived through the socio-political conditions that prevailed during that time. Her story doesn’t end there. Like all of us, Grayhall is an unfinished painting. As an accomplished professional, her life continues. This memoir is a must-read as a reminder to all of us to guard our rights and freedom and to never devolve into a culture of hate that is a vestige of a primitive stage of evolution.