Not only is Richard J. Stachler, M.D., one of Baptist Medical Group's board certified internal medicine physicians, he also is a published author who thrills readers who enjoy mystery, adventure and spine-tingling science.

Dr. Stachler’s novel, The Fifth Stage, is a fast-paced medical technology thriller about sleep, dreams and murder. It takes place in the Gulf Coast area along the Florida panhandle. The novel delves into the regional history of Pensacola and the ruins of Fort Pickens, a pre-Civil War citadel located on the extreme western end of Pensacola Beach. What’s left of the aged citadel today still guards the narrow pass into Pensacola Bay.

The main characters are Jack Connor, also an internal medicine physician, and Kelly Moore, a research scientist working at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency laboratory on Pensacola Beach. Their lives are intertwined by a series of dramatic events involving, assassins, dirty tricksters, medical anomalies, Wall Street corporate hooligans and government spies.  

"Stachler's...who-done-it sweeps a sprawling story shadowing many Pensacola-area landmarks and scenarios, medicating readers with surgical edginess and New World technologies,” said Earl Bowden, editor emeritus of the Pensacola News Journal. “His suspenseful narrative will endure unendingly in computer memory on a global Google scale."

Two other Baptist Health Care employees also were involved in the project. Dr. Stachler’s wife, Karen, a radiology technologist, was the main editor and Peeves Santos, also a radiology technologist, has a role as an actress in one of the video trailers that accompanies the book (The Assassin).

Dr. Stachler is a board certified internal medicine physician who treats patients of all ages at the Gulf Breeze Medical Office Building, located behind Gulf Breeze Hospital.

The Fifth Stage is available online at For more information about Dr. Stachler, call 934-5777 or go online to