The nineteenth century was a creative era in world medicine,"" says the author, who then goes on to prove that probably nowhere was medicine practiced with more ingenuity and daring than on the American frontier. Journals, letters, diaries and memoirs have given him fine collection of doctor stories which, as he points out, ""are lightened more by humor than by bravery."" Along with the trained physicians who went pioneering there were the self-taught and the brazen quacks. The frontiersmen used them all because they were prey to every disease rampant in the East plus exotic gunshots, stabs and freak mining accidents. For instance, Tombstone's Dr. Goodfellow became a leading commentator on gun wounds through the busy pistols of the Earps and their colleagues. Most of the stories are short and all are well told. A book doctors will enjoy as well as the large audience of medical buffs who never get enough.