Bare Bones: A Surgeon's Tale

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Like the 14th-century surgeon in Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, Dr. Augusto Sarmiento has a tale to tell. This book is both an interesting autobiographical story of a young immigrant doctor's rise to success in the United States and a critique of recent trends in American medicine by someone who is now a recognized authority in orthopaedic surgery. Educated in his native Colombia, Dr. Sarmiento immigrated to the United States not long after receiving his medical degree. His early years were difficult as he struggled to overcome the language barrier and often encountered prejudice regarding his medical training in Latin America. Feeling like an outsider for many years, he finally came to realize that his unorthodox perspective on medicine was an asset that could be used to make significant contributions to his specialty. He was among the pioneers who brought total hip replacement surgery to the United States, and his research improved the profession's understanding of the way fractures heal. In time he was elected president of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

As someone who has practiced medicine for almost fifty years on many levels he is profoundly disturbed by recent developments in the American healthcare scene. He is especially critical of the increasing control of education and research by the pharmaceutical industry, the unconscionable overuse of surgery by many practitioners in his field, and the "greed factor" that has saturated the medical profession. This modern surgeon's tale is both an inspirational story of how one man made a difference and a revealing critique of the ills affecting American medicine today.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781591020493
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 5/28/2003
  • Pages: 330
  • Product dimensions: 6.27 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Augusto Sarmiento, M.D. (Miami, FL), is currently professor and chairman emeritus at the University of Miami Medical School. A world-recognized authority in orthopaedic surgery, he has won many awards and has been invited to lecture more than 500 times in over 40 countries.

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Table of Contents

Preface 9
Chapter 1. Roots 13
Chapter 2. A Troubled Adolescence 20
Chapter 3. Shattered Dreams 29
Chapter 4. Uncertainties 36
Chapter 5. Facing Reality 44
Chapter 6. Choosing a Medical Career 53
Chapter 7. A Rude Awakening 63
Chapter 8. On to the Colossus of the North 69
Chapter 9. Facing a Daunting Crisis 78
Chapter 10. Southern Exposure 84
Chapter 11. Life as an Orthopaedic Resident 95
Chapter 12. Light at the End of the Tunnel 109
Chapter 13. A Full-Fledged Practitioner 116
Chapter 14. In Love with Academia 124
Chapter 15. Creating an Opportunity 134
Chapter 16. Appreciating the Physically Impaired 141
Chapter 17. Understanding the Spinal Cord Injured 151
Chapter 18. The Abuse of Rights 164
Chapter 19. A Changing Profession 173
Chapter 20. The Big Break 180
Chapter 21. Students and Friends 193
Chapter 22. Introduction to a New Career 200
Chapter 23. To the Top of the Academic Ladder 217
Chapter 24. Criticized by the Master 226
Chapter 25. To California: Chasing the Rainbow 231
Chapter 26. An Unexpected Shock 241
Chapter 27. Rethinking My Roots 253
Chapter 28. To the Presidency of the Academy 259
Chapter 29. A Strange Experience 268
Chapter 30. The Orthopaedic-Industrial Complex 277
Chapter 31. Fighting the War on Several Fronts 290
Chapter 32. Understanding the Opposition 297
Chapter 33. The Changing Face of Research 307
Chapter 34. Enjoying the Teaching Experience 311
Chapter 35. Life Gets More Complicated 318
Chapter 36. Contemplating Life in Scotland 330
Chapter 37. In the Land of Adam Smith 337
Chapter 38. Greed and Hubris 351
Chapter 39. Back Where It All Began 358
Chapter 40. Medicine as a Business 361
Epilogue 377
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