Thursday, March 2, 2017

March Classic of the Month: Two Scottish Tales of Medical Compassion

We are highlighting Two Scottish Tales of Medical Compassion, by Dr. John Brown, Ian Maclaren, and Dr. John Raffensperger, as our March Classic of the Month in honor of Saint Patrick's Day tomorrow!

Included in the book are the short stories "Rab and His Friends," by John Brown, and "A Doctor of the Old School," by Ian MacLaren. In "Rab and His Friends," Dr. John Brown recounts a true story from his early days as a doctor about a huge mutt named Rab and his owner, of whom the dog was fiercely protective. He discusses medical procedures that were cutting edge at the time, though they would be seen as invasive and rather cruel today.

In "A Doctor of the Old School," we are painted a picture of a typical doctor on call from the Scottish highlands, complete with an authentic Scottish dialect. This touching story shows how selfless small doctors in the backwoods of Scotland were, never taking a day off and treating patients right up until their own bodies gave out on them.

Finally, Dr. John Raffensperger, a retired surgeon with a deep love for and interest in these medicinal roots, paints a picture of the authors of these tales, John Brown and Ian MacLaren, showing how their ties to the Edinburgh School of Medicine shaped their stories and love of medicine. He takes us back to the first instances of modern medicine, where cleanliness standards were just beginning to be discovered and used and where medical procedures with anesthesia were rare. It is a fascinating glimpse into the old ways and will make any reader — doctor, patient, or friend — truly thankful for the advancements that have been made because of men like Dr. John Brown.

You can enjoy your copy in paperback, or order the eBook version straight to your Nook or Kindle and enjoy immediately.

About the Authors 
John Brown, M.D. (1810-1882) was a well-known Scottish doctor and writer from Edinburgh. He attended the medical school at the University of Edinburgh before becoming apprentice to James Syme at the Minto House Hospital. His experiences at the hospital influenced his writing, including "Rab and his Friends," the short stories in his book Horae Subsecivae, and others.

Ian Maclaren (1850-1907) was the pen name of Highland-born John Watson. Watson studied for the ministry at the University of Edinburgh and at Tubingen in Germany. In addition to serving at the Parish of Logielmond in Perthshire and the Sefton Park Church in Liverpool, he was well known as a writer and speaker, culminating in several speaking tours in the United States. His works include "A Doctor of the Old School," Beside the Bonnie Briar Bush, and The Days of Auld Lang Syne.

John Raffensperger, M.D. was a surgeon-in-chief at the Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago and a professor of surgery at Northwestern University. He has authored surgical textbooks, a history of the Cook County Hospital, a collection of short stories, and a "surgical thriller." He currently lives in Sanibel Island, Florida.

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