Tales of a Country Surgeon

Tales of a Country Surgeon

by Gus Iwasiuk, Beth Bruno

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A reflection on his life and the American medical system, Tales of a Country Surgeon relives the author's journey from a European childhood of poverty and uncertainty to his training as a doctor, culminating in his eventual success as a surgeon in a quiet town in California.

Gus's father, a physician himself, faced the threat of Communism in Czernowitz, escaping into the turmoil of Nazi-annexed Austria, where he found work as a country doctor in a small village until just after the end of the war, when the government dismissed him because he was not ethnically Austrian, forcing the family to leave the country. Though they were originally headed for the Gold Coast (now Ghana), the destination at the last minute changed to the United States.

In the US, the family settled in Illinois, where Gus experienced adolescence in 1950s America, eventually realizing his passion for medicine and studying to become a physician. After his service as a military officer, he elected to do a second medical residency to become a surgeon.

Life as a physician, and specifically as a surgeon, has presented Gus with many strange and interesting stories that, along with his personal background, have afforded him ample opportunity to ponder some larger questions in life and within the world of medicine. The vast changes in technology and lifestyles resulting from the 20th century and its two world wars have brought up new practical and ethical concerns in medicine that didn't exist before. And yet, at its core, being a doctor is the same as it has always been. Taking into consideration his experiences in a field that has dramatically evolved within his own lifetime, Gus looks at the future of medicine: what doctors will be dealing with, and what factors they ought to weigh.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014990240
Publisher: Cutting Edge Publishing
Publication date: 02/29/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 280
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Gus Iwasiuk is the Program Director of the General Surgery Residency at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California, and the Assistant Professor of Surgery for Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona. He has been a practicing surgeon since 1981, and was a doctor in general practice for eight years prior to that. While serving in the United States Air Force for two years during the Vietnam War, he attained the rank of major, coming home to practice medicine in Ventura.

His interest in publishing began with a desire to put to paper the interesting life stories of his father, Vladimir, himself a doctor who survived childhood poverty, World War II, and the strain of uprooting his family and his medical career after the war to another country whose language he did not know. This desire culminated in the book Tales of a Country Surgeon, which contemplates his father's experiences as well as his own. His father was also an avid painter and served as the inspiration for Gus's second title, a coffee-table book of Vladimir's paintings, Vladimir's Visions. His most recent effort is a commentary on genetics and religion called The Jesus Gene.

Gus was born Gösta Werner Iwasiuk in Linz, Austria, in 1943. His family immigrated in 1954 to the U.S., settling in Peoria, Illinois, where he graduated as valedictorian of his high school class. He received his bachelor's degree from Bradley University and started medical school at the University of Illinois at Chicago, but finished his M.D. at the University of California, Los Angeles, graduating with honors and inducted into Alpha Omega Alpha, the medical honorary fraternity.

Gus is board-certified in general surgery and, upon re-certifying, attained a ranking in the 99th percentile nationwide. His professional interests run the gamut of surgery, especially laparoscopic and robotic. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) and has served as a board member of the Southern California chapter. He has also served as president of the Ventura County Medical Society, as well as chief of staff of both Ventura County Medical Center and Santa Paula Memorial Hospital. He was also a delegate to the California Medical Association.

Dr. Iwasiuk is available for speaking engagements and interviews.

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