The Making of a Surgeon

The Story of the First Heart and Lung Transplants and the Murder of Medgar Evers
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Segregation was a way of life in the 1960s, especially in the South when O. Gordon Robinson Jr. was completing his surgical residency at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. The Ku Klux Klan was a force to be reckoned with at the time, and Robinson chronicles the events he witnessed as well as the civil rights movement of the time against the backdrop of completing his medical education. His main focus is on the daily lives and work of the residents, including the innovative organ-transplant research led by Dr. James Hardy. One of Robinson’s initial assignments was to transplant a kidney from one dog to another, and from the recipient dog, one of his kidneys to the first dog. The helpers anesthetized the animals, prepped and draped them, and started IV fluids if necessary. Dr. Hardy was a real pioneer in the field of transplantation, and as time went on, it became obvious that he and his crew were preparing to do heart and lung transplants on humans—something that had never been done before. Whether you’re interested in life during the civil rights movement, medical education or both, you’ll enjoy The Making of a Surgeon.

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