Tag Archives: surgeon

Weston, Gabriel. Direct Red: A Surgeon’s Story

direct red dir_red

How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands? What is it like to cut into someone else’s body? What is it like to stand by, powerless, while someone dies because of the incompetence of your seniors? How do you tell a beautiful young man who seems perfectly fit that he has only a few days left to live?

Gabriel Weston worked as a surgeon in the big-city hospitals of the twenty-first century; a woman in a world dominated by Alpha males. Her world was one of disease, suffering and extraordinary pressure where a certain moral ambiguity and clinical detachment were necessary tools for survival. Startling and honest, her account combines a fierce sense of human dignity with compassion and insight, illuminating scenes of life and death the rest of us rarely glimpse.

Publisher: Vintage
Year: 2010
ISBN-10: 0099520699

Hepworth, B. The Hospital Drawings


Barbara Hepworth
Skiagram 1949
Oil and pencil
54.6 x 36.8 cm

Between 1947 and 1949, Barbara Hepworth produced around 80 works of surgeons at work in operating theatres. This period of activity followed the friendship that resulted from the hospitalisation of the daughter of Hepworth (and Ben Nicholson) with the surgeon who treated her at the Elizabeth Orthopaedic Hospital, Exeter: Norman Capener.

You can see a selection of these works here; and there is a good review of the paintings here – including a short video-clip – when they were exhibited together at the Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield

Marsh, H. Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death and Brain Surgery


What is it like to be a brain surgeon?
How does it feel to hold someone’s life in your hands, to cut into the stuff that creates thought, feeling and reason?
How do you live with the consequences of performing a potentially life-saving operation when it all goes wrong?
DO NO HARM is an unforgettable insight into the countless human dramas that take place in a busy modern hospital. Above all, it is a lesson in the need for hope when faced with life’s most difficult decisions.

Publisher: W&N
Year 2014
ISBN-10: 0297869876

(spoiler alert)

Plath Sylvia. Crossing the Water

Steven Oliver HYMS: Sylvia Plath’s poetry often contains imagery of the body and contacts with health care and ill-health.
This small collection came out after ‘Ariel‘, perhaps her most famous book, both posthumously.  Poems in this collection which might be of particular interest to medics could include: ‘Face Lift‘, ‘In  Plaster‘ and ‘The Surgeon at 2 A.M.’

Publisher: Faber and Faber
Year : 1976
ISBN-10: 057110861X


Huyler, F. The blood of strangers

A collection of short essays set in the ER introduces a neurosurgeon who practices witchcraft, a trauma surgeon who commits suicide, a wounded murderer, and a man chased across the New Mexico desert by a missile.

Author: Huyler, Frank
Title: The blood of strangers
Publisher: Berkeley : University of California Press
Year: 1964
ISBN: 0520218639

 (spoiler alert)