THE HOSPITAL WAR by Knickerbocker Charles H.


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Knickerbocker is another doctor who is also a general practitioner of medium grade fiction and he is more apt to deal with problems than procedures. In this case, it's a ""hospital war"" between two communities and questions of power, prestige and money all enter into it. His book opens well before WWII when three young men set up a small clinic in New England subsidized by widowed, philanthropic Mrs. Blaine who also supports nearby Puritan Hospital -- where her husband died on the table. Red Dillon is a self-confident surgeon; Randy Kay is interested in differential diagnosis; Amos Hare, the most likeable, does some ob. work. The three break up in no time when Red becomes an assistant to the Puritan Hospital surgeon; Amos goes on alone; and Randy, marrying Mrs. Blaine's daughter, gets the backing for a new, more modern plant which does not manage to fill its beds. The race question in medicine is gently suggested through the Negro doctor who comes there but can never really summon a wide practice. The war drags on and on, and as far as narrative interest goes, the story is somewhat lymphatic. However it does make its points reasonably....We're not so good at differential diagnosis in this field but we'll make a referral-- the Slaughter market.

Publisher: Doubleday