A couple of stories popped into my head but I can't remember the author. It was about a space station and 2 had the same character, a large bright guy. The first one had him as a worker on the station construction and not his later profession, people wouldn't accept him because of his size. Later he was the psychiatrist in a story where a small guy had saved the station and was being allowed to win fights by the crew.

The book was around in the late 80s or 90s.

  • Hi, welcome to the site. Just so we can tag this question correctly, were these two short stories in the same book, or two different books? Jul 15 at 11:32
  • 1
    Was the space station designed to be a huge galactic hospital? Jul 15 at 11:42
  • Don't think this was Sector General series but not sure.
    – OJB
    Jul 15 at 11:48
  • There were different stories and they were in books or a book, a bit like Larry Niven
    – OJB
    Jul 15 at 11:48
  • 3
    It is Sector General. The best book about O'Mara (the psychiatrist) is Mind Healer; he's about to retire, and remembers various cases from his career, starting when he helped build the hospital and cures the small guy. The story finishes with him being offered the job, and someone saying "this is a hospital, and you've just cured the first patient".
    – sueelleker
    Jul 15 at 12:23

OK I found it online thanks to the very helpful advice, Hospital Station (Sector General #1) and Mind Changer (Sector General #11) by James White:

In the course of practicing deep-space medicine, that staff has seen more than its share of challenges--from plagues caused by cafeteria food, to cafeteria food that resembles alien species. But now they are facing a disquieting new development: the terrifying Chief Psychologist, Dr. O'Mara, has been promoted to head of the hospital.

Worse, he's been given the job on a temporary basis, for just as long as it takes to train his own replacement. After that, he is up for mandatory retirement. Nobody at Sector General can begin to imagine what they'll do without him--assuming they last long enough to find out.

From the wiki entry for O'Mara:

He originally joined the construction crew that built the gigantic medical facility in deep space. A large man with an imposing physique, his mental capacities and scientific background were constantly underestimated by his superiors. When two Hudlarian construction workers were killed, he was charged with caring for their infant child until it could be moved permanently. After some trouble with the strange alien creature, he read up on its species and quickly learned to take care of its basic needs. After a Hudlarian doctor arrived and took over (noting that the human caretaker had spoiled the baby rotten) O'Mara was offered a chance to join the Monitor Corps and become a psychologist at Sector General.

  • 1
    Note that the story of O'Mara and the Hudlarian baby was initially published as a short story in the late 50s/early 60s, along with a number of other stories that were collected into the Sector General series books. The small guy who saved the station is also part of this same story.
    – Dragonel
    Jul 15 at 23:25
  • I have now read the story again and enjoyed it immensely
    – OJB
    Jul 16 at 11:25

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