THE GREAT DOCTORS by Robert Silverberg


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The claim on the jacket- ""Robert Silverberg has prepared a careful personality characterization of some of the most important doctors, etc."" is jacked up in the introduction by the author who has wanted the men presented to ""stand out as people"" and have a ""flesh and blood reality."" Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine (actually he wasn't, as Silverberg makes clear) hardly emerges from his beard in spite of his ""bold strength."" And even some of the more contemporary figures are not very decisively individualized even though it would be easier, in their cases, to do so. However, the achievements of these men (from Galen, Vesalius, Pare, Harvey, Jenner, orton, Lister, Read, Halsted, Cushing down to Sabin and Salk-- not a complete listing), what they contributed and what they established in the healing arts and sciences comes through very well. What results is a pre-pre-med course not only for those who are already planning to swear by Apollo-- the evolution of medicine is always an exciting chapter in the story of mankind, even though the practitioners ere fail to respond to the personal treatment, which amounts in too many cases to no more than superficial adjectives rather than telling acts.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1964
Publisher: Putnam