Frontier Surgeons: A Story about the Mayo Brothers (Creative Minds Biography)

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9780876145531: Frontier Surgeons: A Story about the Mayo Brothers (Creative Minds Biography)

In the 1870s, surgery was a crude affair performed on the patient's kitchen table. In the frontier town of Rochester, Minnesota, Dr. W. W. Mayo brought his young sons, Will and Charlie, to assist him with operations. Fifty years later, Rochester became a medical mecca as the Mayo brothers were established as world-class surgeons. With a firm belief in sharing information and learning from others, the Mayo brothers proved the benefits of cooperation in a jealously competitive field, and accomplished more than any single colleague of their time. Emily Crofford gives a vivid account of the Mayos' meteoric rise to fame and their contributions as pioneers on the frontier of modern surgery.

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Grade 3-5-- Two biographies that offer a look at medical practices in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The accounts of surgery performed on kitchen tables, Elizabeth Kenny's adventures in the Australian outback, and the story of how 16-year-old Will Mayo was left alone by his coroner father to finish an autopsy at night in an abandoned hotel are sure to interest young readers. The books are well written and, while a bit of dialogue may have been invented, on the whole, they seem to be authoritative and objective. Crofford mentions that Kenny sometimes exaggerated her qualifications and even some of her medical successes in an attempt to be taken more seriously, but clearly she does not see this weakness as detracting from Kenny's dedication and achievements. Both books cite personal interviews as some of the sources of information. The bibliography in Healing Warrior can be used to teach students the difference between primary and secondary sources, as the two types are clearly separated and labeled. The black-and-white illustrations enhance the text; there are no photographs. Good introductions to three admirable medical pioneers that will attract recreational readers and be useful for reports. --Jean H. Zimmerman, Willett School, South River, NJ
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Emily Crofford, Karen Ritz (Illustrator)
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