Books by Ron Ruskin

New Release!

“Ron Ruskin’s take on the late sixties medical culture is pitch perfect…”  

— Brian Goldman MD, author, ER physician, CBC radio host, health care pundit


Confessions of a Medical Student

Confessions of a Medical Student charts 20-year-old Ben Adler’s tragic-comic journey from home to med-school and the world beyond. Callow and impressionable, Ben leaves his over-anxious Russian-Jewish parents in their Toronto drugstore, and Angie, his girlfriend whom he plans to marry against his parents’ wishes. In anatomy, Ben dissects his cadaver, ‘Clive’, with lab-mates. As the first blush of med-school fades, Ben learns of his father’s life-threatening illness. Cash-poor, Ben enlists in the Navy to earn room and board, joins Lenny’s Underground Railroad for draft-dodgers, jeopardizing studies and provoking his ill father’s scorn. The novel chronicles the tumultuous years 1966–1971 through the eyes of a naïve, sentimental student striving to move beyond family, self, and place. Ben careens from mistake to mistake over four years, yet at the novel’s end he emerges with self-knowledge and a touch of worldly pain and wisdom.

Buy the book at Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St., Toronto, or online:


“It’s the late 1960’s and Ben Adler, a young Canadian hockey-playing everyman is coping with med school, a love triangle, and the great expectations of slightly manic relatives…Ron Ruskin’s characters shine through every chapter of this funny, tender and nostalgic novel.”

Allan Peterkin MD, author, Staying Human During Residency Training, Professor of Psychiatry, University of Toronto

“Emotion, intellect, and the quest for authenticity…this is the story of an honest young man trying his best not to fake it.”

Jeanne Beker, journalist, author, and international style editor


“A pitch-perfect, deliciously wicked, and funny novel."  

— Bonnie Zindel,  psychoanalyst and Creative Literary Editor of Psychoanalytic Perspectives


The Analyst Who Laughed to Death

Written as a tragic-comic case-history, this novel, like Freud's Wolf-Man, addresses the complexity of trauma, memory, and childhood love of a powerful woman. Set in present-day Toronto, Dr. Reuben Moses represents a vanishing breed, a medical psychoanalyst exploring the meaning of patients' suffering set against the current landscape of brief psychotherapy and overuse of drugs.

The Analyst Who Laughed to Death recounts Dr. Reuben Moses' last days as a therapist for suicidal, psychopathic, and depressed patients. Despite his geniality, Moses is tortured. Moses enters a final analysis with Oskar Pinsky, who sleuths through Moses' troubled post-Holocaust past, sexual misadventures, and impossible cases. Despite Pinsky's efforts, Moses jokes away his suffering, and as Pinsky's analysis proceeds, the reader sees Moses wrestling with past demons and an unseen enemy threatening to destroy him.

Buy the book at Caversham Booksellers
98 Harbord St., Toronto, or online:

"Ronald Ruskin seamlessly marries humor to tragedy."  

— Joseph Kertes, Dean Emeritus of the Creative Writing and Comedy Program at Humber College Toronto


Body and Soul: Narratives of Healing from Ars Medica

Illness affects us all; we are called on to support and care for loved ones who face health challenges, and in turn, we encounter our own physical and emotional frailties when our health declines. Body & Soul features inspiring and award-winning fiction, essays, memoirs, poetry, photography, and visual art on the universal themes of wellness, treatment, and healing.

Together with the online discussion guide (providing questions relating to selected pieces in the anthology), Body & Soul is an ideal text for courses and support groups as well as individual reflection. Students and practitioners from all clinical disciplines and scholars in the humanities and social sciences will find this text invaluable.

Clinical Perspectives on Psychotherapy Supervision

Clinical Perspectives on Psychotherapy Supervision is the first book to examine the role of the supervisor -- one of the most important teaching tools in psychotherapy -- from multiple perspectives. Written by experts from virtually every major aspect of supervision, this book gives a clear picture of the many challenges involved in supervising, and how these challenges are best met.

Richly illustrated with clinical vignettes, Clinical Perspectives on Psychotherapy Supervision explores theories of supervision, reviews the recent literature, and offers guidelines for practice.

“The sick travelled in great hordes and would kill whatever was in their path…[T]he sick did not die from the plague—the sick killed because of the plague.”


The Last Panic

(out of print)

Savage terrorism and uncontrollable chaos mount to staggering proportions while medical science stands powerless to understand the epidemics of violence which sweep through America and threaten the western world. Yet three scientists join to defy this contagion of violent madness as hospital emergency rooms across America see increasing numbers of the violent syndrome. Research facilities attached to psychiatric departments across North America and Europe study the disorder as the Sachs-Wilson syndrome proliferates. New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, Los Angeles, the major urban centres of America are in chaos. The syndrome has taken over the government—researchers are murdered.

But the ancient key to a deadly puzzle eludes them—as history’s most devastating epidemic spreads outward to engulf them.