James Cole had stories to tell. So on New Year's Day 2010—with the help of some notes, but largely from memory—he sat down and began writing about his experiences as a doctor. Cole, currently the assistant medical director of trauma services at Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove, has dealt with such maladies as gunshot wounds, flesh-eating bacteria, farm and industrial accidents, and attempted suicides. His patients have included criminals, drug addicts and the mentally ill. But his experiences go beyond those of most doctors. Cole, 46, also was trained to be a military surgeon. He served in a Marine Corps reconnaissance unit, in the U.S. Special Operations Command and on a Navy Reserve SEAL team. He cared for troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has treated, in his words, "individuals wounded from both common mechanisms of injury and by every other gruesome cause imaginable."