Gifted Hands: America's Most Significant Contributions to Surgery

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9781591026839: Gifted Hands: America's Most Significant Contributions to Surgery
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The United States enjoys an established and essentially unchallenged role in the field of surgery. In this sweeping history of American surgical practice, renowned surgeon Seymour I. Schwartz, MD, describes how surgery in this country advanced from the comparatively crude practices of pioneering physicians in the pre-Columbian and colonial eras to its current level of preeminence in scientific surgery today.

Of interest to the layperson and professional alike, Dr. Schwartz’s engrossing narrative brings to life the personalities and sometimes dramatic conflicts that led to breakthrough contributions. In the nineteenth century, for example, the many colorful characters and surgical innovations included: a surgeon in a small Kentucky community who successfully removed a huge tumor from a woman’s abdomen without anesthesia; the three individuals who each laid claim to the development of ether anesthesia; and the first successful gallbladder operation.

Turning to the twentieth century, Dr. Schwartz highlights the evolution of vascular surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and organ transplantation. Many great innovators made crucial contributions, including the Nobel Prize winners Alexis Carrel, who developed a method to sew vessels together, and Joseph Murray, who worked on kidney transplantation in Boston.

Complete with an array of intriguing illustrations, this definitive work will captivate general readers with its engaging narrative and will inform medical professionals through its solid historical research and medical expertise.

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About the Author:

Seymour I Schwartz, MD (Rochester, NY), a world-renowned surgeon, is the author of Schwartz’s Principles of Surgery, which in its seven editions and translations has sold more than 500,000 copies. Dr. Schwartz is equally renowned as a cartographic historian and is the author of many books on historical maps, including Putting "America" on the Map: The Story of the Most Important Graphic Document in the History of the United States.

Review:

"Everyday around the world, people are asked to entrust their lives and their loved ones to surgeons who take them to the brink of the death and then return them to a state even better than before. This profession, called Surgery, which at once, can restore function, re establish blood flow and give life remains mysterious to countless people. That is, until now. Seymour Schwartz, known to every medical student as a result of his brilliant book Principles of Surgery, has now turned the focus inward in his book Gifted Hands. He examines the very genesis of our field and takes readers on a historical yet dramatic ride through the life and death decisions that set the tone for what has become modern day surgery. The hubris of the early surgeons can be stunning, yet Schwartz shows us how early surgeons hit that perfect intersection between audacity and achievability and how we all benefited because of it. Surgery has had a rough and sometimes gritty past, but it was always hopeful, and that message rings through loud and clear in Gifted Hands. There is no question that this is a book about Heroes. They are compassionate intellectuals who forever changed the course of our medical history. Make no mistake; Seymour Schwartz is one of them." -- Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Faculty Neurosurgeon Emory Clinic and Chief Medical Correspondent, CNN. Author of Chasing Life, the New York Times bestseller.

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