This story is fascinating. The medical facts are correct for the times, too. The chapter about the appendicitis death is particularly interesting because Dr. Ross describes the correct management of an appendiceal abscess before the era of IV antibiotics. Also, he describes well the ethical dilemmas that can occur when doctors disagree about treatment. Such situations today would take place in a hospital, which would have department chiefs to bring a resolution that would be in the best interests of the patient. The case of the insane farmer shows Robert’s quick thinking and inventive mind. Paranoid psychoses still occur at the same rate today. However, the medical profession no longer has to face the same distance and communication limitations. Police response times have also improved. We still use morphine - it is the same as it was then - but not for psychiatric use and Dr. Ross uses it as a sedative, which it can be. He also describes its other common side effect - nausea. Hyoscine has much more limited use now.
A lot has changed in fewer than one hundred years. This volume is an opportunity to reflect on earlier times…I always learn from history and this is good history. - Dr. Gerrard A. Vaughan
"The Province of Alberta was only four years old when a young doctor arrived with his wife and two sons to begin a remarkable life of service in the new pioneer community. The story of Dr. T. Robert Ross is a compelling account of a man driven by an unselfish instinct to help and to heal....Medical Man is set against a background of momentous events: the Great War, the Spanish influenza pandemic, crippling prairie droughts, and the Great Depression, all challenged the fortitude and skill of Dr. Ross. His courage, dedication and daring are all a part of this surprisingly dramatic story of frontier medicine, and his life is truly defined by the title of this excellent book." - Colin M. Ross Legacy of The Caliph
Laughter, tears and just the plain inability to put the book down...all markings of a good book that describe my experience reading Medical Man. I’m so glad to have had the opportunity to read this manuscript and get a glimpse into the world of medicine, and the travels, hardships and joys of Dr. Robert Ross’s life and family. Some of the medical stories were truly amazing and I can’t imagine living through some of those experiences. This story is full of discovery, perseverance, bravery and appreciation for life. Helen Webster has done a great job with the writing and organization. and a marvellous job of character development, transitions and keeping the reader engaged. Medical Man is rich with experiences from Dr. Ross’s life as a doctor in the early to mid 1900’s. The characters have depth and come to life on every page. The research and time put into this manuscript are evident and well done. Truly a pleasure to read. - Editor, Friesen Press
"...beautiful and excellent book :well written... Smooth direct narrative,objective tone...This book is an important contribution to Canadian culture and history." - Frank
"Helen Webster has written an extraordinary tale with magnificent characters, especially her Grandfather, not to mention the delightful and important historical facts she brings to life... These last few days I could not put the book down and only did so, reluctantly, to eat and sleep... I will be highly recommending "Medical Man" to my Book Club when we decide what books we want to read in the fall and into the new year." - Julie
"The book filled me with memories of medical practice and prairie life. Robert was a pioneer in the truest sense - highly principled, independent and honest...his early life experiences allowed him to take his amazing medical travels, beginning his medical career at age 33, 10 years later than most physicians...the unspoken support and devotion of his wife made her a true hero of this wonderful story." - Terry