Surgery in the 1910s: rudimentary anesthesia, the same surgical tools the Romans used, primitive lighting, no antibiotics, no blood transfusions, and the most advanced test is a fuzzy & indistinct x-ray.

In this fraught world, a few men stood apart and endured unconscionable loss to usher in modern surgery. One such man was Harvey Cushing, and he was a surgeon. A brain surgeon. The world’s first.

These are his patients.
The suffering is theirs.
The empathy is his.
The benefit is ours.

 

THE LEAST PART OF THE WORK — A Love Story Between A Surgeon, His Patients, & The Rest Of Us is a nonfiction surgical history podcast centered around the pioneering work the world’s first brain surgeon during the early years of the 20th century. It’s about resilience in the face of adversity, about terrible suffering, and about one man’s singular ability to see the forest through the trees—one patient at a time.

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Case 1784 “Hank”

In 1914, after ten years of progressive blindness, incapacitating headaches, and two previous operations, Hank is at his wit’s end. He will surely die if Dr. Harvey Cushing—the world’s first brain surgeon—can’t do something.

In 1914, after ten years of progressive blindness, incapacitating headaches, and two previous operations, Hank is at his wit's end. He will surely die if Dr. Harvey Cushing—the world's first brain surgeon—can't do something. Unfortunately, the anesthesia is rudimentary, the surgical tools primitive, the entire knowledge of xray is less than 20 years old, and there's no such thing as a blood transfusion.

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The Least Part of the Work

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Surgery in the 1910s: rudimentary anesthesia, the same surgical tools the Romans used, primitive lighting, no antibiotics, no blood transfusions, and the most advanced test is a fuzzy & indistinct x-ray.  In this fraught world, a few men stood apart and endured unconscionable loss to usher in modern surgery. One such man was Harvey Cushing, and he was a surgeon. A brain surgeon. The world’s first.  These are his patients.
The suffering is theirs.
The empathy is his.
The benefit is ours.  THE LEAST PART OF THE WORK — A Love Story Between A Surgeon, His Patients, & The Rest Of Us is a nonfiction surgical history podcast centered around the pioneering work of the world’s first brain surgeon during the early years of the 20th century. It's about resilience in the face of adversity, about terrible suffering, and about one man's singular ability to see the forest through the trees—one patient at a time.