Genius on the Edge – The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted (Day -255)

Genius on the Edge – The Bizarre Double Life of Dr. William Stewart Halsted

After reading the biography of Dr Harvey Cushing I was very excited to start reading this book as Dr Halsted is where modern surgery comes from.

The size of the book is relatively thick, however there is a large font used throughout with a relatively large text spacing make it easy reading. Unfortunately this is one of the only positives about this book.

The author jumps backwards and forwards through time almost randomly. It is a constant struggle to know just what stage of Dr Halsted’s life is being discussed, and there is no logical order to the flow.

This is compounded by the inclusion of many other people within the book – I would guess that if you removed all this stuff about other people the book would be half its size. This disappointed me as I wanted to learn about Dr Halsted – and instead of this found very little about him here. I am not sure whether this is because there is so little known about him, however with the way the author kept jump to random other people it felt like they were just trying to make their word count. Often I had to search backwards and forwards just to find out where in time I was supposed to be.

I guess that something I really liked about the Harvey Cushing biography was the inclusion of historic documents including letters and medical reports. These are not included in much detail within this book on Dr Halsted.

All in all, I would not recommend this book for someone wanting to learn more about the contribution of Dr Halsted to surgery. I will be continuing on my search to find out more about this great man.

REVIEW: Animal Abuse and Unlawful Killing (Ranald Munro & Helen M. C. Munro)

Animal abuse and unlawful killing book review

I randomly came across this book tucked away in the corner of the university library. Sadly with social media I am reminded of the bad things in the world on a daily basis. I felt that as a vet student it was my duty to take the time to educate myself here (yeah there’s not really a class for it yet!) and as it looked like a quick read, and very practical in nature I decided to borrow it.

So I’ve only just started studying my pathology modules, yet this book made perfect sense with the limited knowledge that I had. It breaks down the different possible “causes” of pathology resulting from abuse or unlawful killing including an introduction to the subject, how to do forensic examinations and what is expected with respect to non-accidental injury as well.

Despite it being under a 100 pages long, there is an absolute wealth of information packed in; each page I read left me with things to think about and consider. Whilst it is not the nicest subject to read about, having the extra little things to consider will I believe help me in my duty to animal welfare.

In addition to the topics I mentioned about the book includes chapters on neglect, wounds and injuries, thermal injuries, firearms injuries, asphyxia and drowning, physical agents, traps and snares, bite injuries, sexual abuse and poisoning. Also there is a discussion on the estimation of time since death which is a really big topic in humans, however with the range in body size across species still remains an area where extensive research is required for animals.

I would consider this book to be essential reading for every vet, vet student, vet nurse and vet technician that has any contact at all with animals.