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Book details
  • SubGenre:Medical (incl. Patients)
  • Language:English
  • Pages:180
  • Paperback ISBN:9781098354008

The Life and Times of a One-Armed Surgeon

by Morris A. Robbins, M.D.

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Morris A. Robbins, M.D. tells a compelling story of overcoming seemingly impossible odds. He begins with a delightful look at his past in rural New Jersey. Ready to embark on his college education, he suffers a near-fatal accident that leaves him permanently maimed. With grit, determination, and ingenuity, he persists in following his dream of becoming a surgeon. During a 50-year medical career, Doc touched countless lives with his skill and inspiring example. His unassuming recollections are supported with additional material curated by his daughter Dorothy Robbins Talavera, including documentation from files, correspondence, news clippings, family photos and first-hand comments from people who knew him. This honest, but uplifting account is bound to be helpful to a wide-ranging audience of readers.
Morris A. Robbins, M.D. was a well-known, highly-respected orthopedic surgeon, who practiced medicine in New Jersey for more than half a century. He is also a man who suffered a crippling accident as a teenager, an event that resulted in amputation of his left hand and permanent limitations for his right hand. During his lifetime, Doc repeatedly was asked about the obvious handicap, so he decided to write it all down. This book is a story of inspiration and instruction. The Life and Times of a One-Armed Surgeon is divided into parts. First, he records his memories of growing up on a farm and in a small New Jersey village. Local historians have found this information useful and interesting, as much of it has disappeared. The chilling account of being burned by high voltage wires, and the painful aftermath is followed by a heroic pursuit of his life's dream of becoming a surgeon. Doc describes his life as a small-town country doctor. In an age before privacy restrictions, his every move was reported in the local papers. As his practice expanded, Doc was much in demand for his professional services. Despite his acceptance by patients, he experienced severe disappointments from the old guard medical community. He describes this candidly, and without bitterness. He gives an honest assessment of the state of medicine during his lifetime, and offers suggestions that ring true today. Throughout the book, Doc's modest words are supplemented by additional material curated by his daughter, Dorothy Robbins Talavera. Drawing from documents found in Doc's files after his death, along with newspaper clippings, correspondence, family archives and first-hand stories from people who new her father, she adds personal insight into what makes Doc's career so remarkable. Talavera honors her father's work by bringing his autobiography into publication.
About the author
Dorothy Robbins Talavera started her career in Washington, DC., where she served on the White House staff, and as an in-service training developer, eventually retiring from a management position with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. She and her family moved back home to New Jersey, where she started a wonderful second career as a high school Spanish teacher. Now working on Act Three, historian and author Dorothy is documenting and exhibiting family history, taking advantage of the wealth of primary source materials in the family archives. She has several books to her credit, as well as a long list of professional journal articles.