Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Book Review: 'A Surgeon in the Village' by Tony Bartelme

✰✰✰✰½ As a young child Dilan Ellegala was determined and driven. When he set out to become a doctor, he pursued the most challenging specialty. In fact, neurosurgery was what he fell in love with. Nevertheless, after a rigorous residency left him feeling exhaustedDilan went against tradition and took a six month break before beginning his new job.

Africa is where Dilan rested and healed. He also had the opportunity to do some easy brain surgeries. However, he wondered what would happen when he left. Who would help these people? There were no brain surgeons out in the African bush. That's when it dawned on him. There could be a brain surgeon available all the time if he taught someone to do these procedures. But who?

Dilan couldn't just teach anyone. It had to be someone special. A curious, assistant medical officer named Emmanuel Mayegga fit the bill. Dilan taught Mayegga, who taught another doctor, who taught another one. Something special had begun in Tanzania, something that would change the way medical mission work was done. 

The Bottom Line: Part biography, part love story, and part global health report, this easy to read book brings to light the plight of millions of people around the world who do not have access to quality medical care. With a worldwide shortage of doctors, especially surgeons, it is important find a new way to help those in need. This book makes a case for doctors teaching forward and establishing a system where these impoverished countries can help themselves instead of waiting for a handout. Highly recommended  for anyone interested in healthcare or considering a career in medicine. NOTE: This book contains graphic descriptions of medical conditions and procedures.

Details: A Surgeon in the Village: An American Doctor Teaches Brain Surgery in Africa by Tony Bartelme. Hardcover published by Beacon Press in 2017. 288 p. ISBN: 978-0-8070-4488-9 NOTE: I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This was made possible via the Early Reviewers Program at LibraryThing.

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