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Hope Is the First Dose

A Treatment Plan for Recovering from Trauma, Tragedy, and Other Massive Things

W. Lee Warren, M.D.

About Hope Is the First Dose

A practicing neurosurgeon and award-winning author shares his roadmap to finding hope and even happiness when the worst happens—by placing trust in God—in this powerful memoir of personal tragedy, grief, and recovery.

“There are no empty platitudes in these pages. No helium-filled, empty promises. Look elsewhere for plastic smiles. But look here for genuine hope.”—Max Lucado

The question isn’t whether you will face the hardest thing. It’s what to do when it’s staring you in the face.

Because whether in your past, present, or future, trauma will reconfigure your life. And it will do so as your massive thing: someone left, someone cheated, the biopsy was bad, the baby didn’t have a heartbeat, a loved one died, you suffered abuse, or your dreams ended abruptly. The devastation is both immediate and ongoing, leaving a wake of emotional, spiritual, and even physical pain.

Dr. Lee Warren, a neurosurgeon and former combat surgeon in Iraq, knows this firsthand. A medical doctor with more than twenty years’ experience wrestling with the tensions between faith and science, he faced unspeakable tragedy in losing his nineteen-year-old son.

In Hope Is the First Dose, Dr. Warren offers tender empathy and hard-won insights to give you tangible hope. No matter what you’re facing, it doesn’t have to be the end of you. Let Dr. Warren help you find your way back to a new season of hope, faith, peace—and even happiness.

The first dose is hope—and it comes in the form of grace from the skilled hands of the Great Physician.


Hope Is the First Dose is a powerful testament to survival, healing, and health during the darkest times. Dr. Lee Warren’s healer spirit, energy, and practical guidance is apparent in every chapter.”—Daniel G. Amen, MD, founder of Amen Clinics and author of The End of Mental Illness

“This is an intimate read. Whether you are religious or not, whatever faith you may or may not have, this book will stay with you in times of trouble; it is memorable, universal, and inspiring.”—Christy Lefteri, bestselling author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo

“I found refuge within the pages of Dr. Warren’s writing. His words of God’s goodness and hope guided me through the darkness of trauma and pain and led me to the good, comforting presence of our Great Physician.”—Laura Barringer, co-author of A Church Called Tov

“A remarkable book by an even more remarkable man about an even more remarkable hope in an even more remarkable Savior.”—Dane C. Ortlund, PhD, author of Gentle and Lowly and Deeper

“Lee Warren opens himself up entirely to being seen, and he ministers to readers in the process.”—Traci Rhoades, author of Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost

“Grief isn’t tame, something Dr. Lee Warren knows as a follower of Jesus, a husband, a father, and a neurosurgeon. Get ready to laugh and cry. But even more—get ready for a massive dose of hope!”—Mark Vroegop, pastor and author of Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy

“Dr. Lee Warren not only helps diagnose what we’re feeling and experiencing in dark times, but also, like any good doctor, he educates us on what we need to do to move forward on a path to healing. This book is a prescription for hope.”—Jarrett Stephens, pastor and author of The Always God

“In a time that truly tries the depth of our humanity, Dr. Lee Warren’s work lifts us to higher ground.”—Paul Samuel Dolman, author of Hitchhiking with Larry David and host of the What Matters Most podcast

“As a hospital chaplain, I walk into rooms saturated with the pain of The Massive Thing. When that first shock of pain and the following numbness fades, the intentional choices toward hope that Lee demonstrates will guide my conversations with others—and with myself.”—Jon Swanson, PhD, hospital chaplain, professor, and author of This Is Hard

“World-renowned neurosurgeon Lee Warren has experienced severe tragedy in his own life and witnessed more of it in his patients. With his characteristic honesty and grace, he lays out a step-by-step, battle-tested self-treatment plan that combines scientific and biblical truths.”—Michael Guillen, PhD, author and former ABC News science editor

About W. Lee Warren, M.D.

W. Lee Warren, MD, is a practicing neurosurgeon and award-winning author. Dr. Warren has appeared on The 700 Club and CBS Evening News and his writings have been featured in Guideposts magazine. His appearance on Focus on the Family was chosen as one of the “Best of 2021.” The Dr. Lee Warren Podcast, heard in more than 75 countries around the world, explores the connections between faith and science and how to find hope even when life is hard. Dr. Warren lives in Nebraska with his wife, Lisa.

Product Details

304 pages | Published by WaterBrook

On Sale Date: Jul 18, 2023

Trim Size: 6 x 9

Carton Quantity: 12

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Dr. Warren has spent more than twenty years studying the best prescription for patients when surgery or medicine are no longer the answer. Discover how to hold on to hope and move forward through trauma or tragedy with his medical insights, personal stories, and biblically based teaching in Hope Is the First Dose.