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Paul Bryan Roach has been coming to the island for decades, and this memoir follows him through a very different journey to a desert in Afghanistan where he worked as a military surgeon in one of the few medical companies supporting a major offensive in Helmand Province.
"In the course of the book's events the author undergoes a transformation from being a physician in a military uniform into a military officer that happens to be a physician. The crucible effecting this change is the military offensive and his role within it. Shocking and intense, an array of critical injuries and their treatments are described in rich language that anyone, medical or non-medical alike, can absorb. Death also pervades the atmosphere; intrusive, unyielding and painful, its battlefield familiarity and personal impact is resisted, suffered, and ultimately, accepted.
Citizen-Surgeon is an intimate portrayal; a chronicle; a celebration of friendship, love, success, and failure; contemporary war; and military medicine. It is an account of a slice of reality that few people are privileged to know. It reflects deeply upon the nature of personal choice and how that choice puts us where we are in life, even if we did not fully see in advance how the choice would change us. Citizen-Surgeon also explores a variant of post-traumatic stress particular to medical assets, and it reveal's one man's Chess match against it. It is a must read for those with a specific interest in contemporary military medicine, and for those with broader, essentially human interests in individual growth, adventure, and self-actualization."