Monday 10 December 2018

Book ~ "Dramatic Life of a Country Doctor: Fifty Years of Disasters and Diagnoses" (2011) Arnold Burden

From Goodreads ~ Dr. Arnold Burden's career began unintentionally when he performed his first surgery in the woods following a hunting accident at age fourteen. 

As a twenty-year-old hospital clerk, he handled battle casualties after D-Day in France and Germany. His early years as a doctor began in rural Prince Edward Island, where he served in the combined role of doctor and coroner. 

Back home in Springhill, Nova Scotia, Dr. Burden was the first medic to enter the mines after the deadly No. 4 mine explosion in 1956 and the No. 2 mine bump, the most severe bump ever recorded in North America, in 1958. In both cases he risked his life alongside the underground rescue teams to bring the gassed and trapped miners to the surface. 

Dr. Burden gives his account of an active life and of a man dedicated to his patients; a man full of common-sense and interesting stories, who writes candidly of his dealings with patients, unusual cases and brave efforts made under difficult conditions. As the author states: The real satisfaction in life has come from helping people. 

Dr. Arnold Burden (1922 – 2018) was a Canadian doctor born in Springhill, NS.  He enrolled in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps during World War II and would be part of the No. 7 Canadian General Hospital when they landed on Juno Beach during D-Day.  He graduated from Dalhousie University in Halifax, NS, receiving his medical degree, and would work as a doctor for the next 50 years in Prince Edward Island and Springhill.  He had worked in the mines in Springhill when he was a university student and would take part in the rescue operations of both the 1956 and 1958 mining disasters.

This book starts with his childhood in Springhill.  Then he details being in the army doing accounting and then heading home to go to school to become a doctor.  He spent time in Prince Edward Island before moving back home to Springhill.  Anne Murray was the babysitter for his kids!

I liked this book and found it interesting.  It caught my eye because it took place in Nova Scotia.  It could have been edited better, though, as there were many typos.

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