Navigating through a book is easier than navigating through a blog of the book, in that there are fewer options and they are all obvious. If you have the book in your hand, you can open it and read from beginning to end; or find a chapter that interests you; or simply pick a page at random.

A blog is more complicated. Even if you start on the first page, which is by no means a sure thing, all that you know with reasonable certainty is that you are reading the author’s most recent thoughts. If you want to read the book as it was written, and follow along with updates and comments, It seems to me that the best thing to have is an old-fashioned Table of Contents, accessible from every page.

Here is the original ToC, which I’ll link up as I go (unless I come up with a better way.)


Foreword by John J. Corey, M.D.

Author s Note


Introduction: Seeking Beauty from Afar: How I Got My Smile Back
Stumbling upon an open secret

(1) Medical Tourism: Here, There and Everywhere

More than 100,000 United States residents leave the country for
cosmetic procedures every year. Where do they go? Wherever they like …

(2) Comparing Quality, Comparing Costs

Why care abroad is just as good as in the United States, and
why it is so much less expensive than in the United States and Europe

(3) A Brief and Selective History of Medical Tourism

A (necessarily) brief history of traveling for health care

(4) You’re Going Abroad for…What!?

The most common cosmetic and other surgical procedures that lure people overseas

(5) Research, Research, Research

How a consumer should do his or her homework when considering traveling abroad for surgery

(6) There and Back Again

Travel considerations: What a medical tourist needs to know for a successful journey

(7) Brazil; State of the Art in Aesthetic Makeovers

Meeting Dr. Fabio and the FrankenBarbies

(8) Costa Rica: The Beverly Hills of Central America?

Of 20/20 hindsight, recovery retreats and a cottage industry growing up

(9) Mexico: Going South of the Border

Truth and myth, south of the border

(10) The Far East: The New “Cutting Edge” in Medical Tourism

The Miracle at Bumrungrad, India plays catch-up and Malaysia wants to augment business

(11) Pick a Country…Any Country

South Africa, Eastern Europe and Everywhere Else … Surgeon and Safari? Yes, really. And: The New EU.

(12) Future Shock?

Permanent health care abroad? Where will it all end, or does it?

By Curtis J. Schroeder, Group CEO, Bumrungrad International, Bangkok, Thailand


Path to Publication

Beauty from Afar evolved from a lengthy magazine article I did in 2004, about my own trip to the dentist in Costa Rica. That article, written for the Hartford Courant Sunday magazine, Northeast, is available online at:

I do not know if I will ever, ever again get the opportunity to write a magazine story that is 10,000 words long; that is not the direction that publishing is going. And I wish I could have used the whole article as introduction to Beauty from Afar … but the article was deemed too long to be a book chapter!

What did I learn from that? “Long is good, if you can do it.” There have been countless news stories and articles about medical tourism since I wrote that piece in 2004, almost all of which are written in formulaic journalism, or are straight How-To,  Self-Help articles. I still like mine best. Stylistically, it gives a hint of how I approached Beauty from Afar.

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