A Surgeon's Odyssey
Dr. Richard Moss, author
From 1987-1990, Dr. Moss traveled extensively through Asia while working as a cancer surgeon in four different countries including Thailand, Nepal, India and Bangladesh. His work was voluntary however the "payoff" was in the rich, fascinating, and, often, bizarre experiences he had both as a surgeon and wanderer. Based on his three-year voyage, A Surgeon's Odyssey delves into the true-to-life adventures, struggles, and quandaries of a young surgeon in a strange, tragic but beautiful world, striving to save those suffering with horrifying diseases under hellish circumstances.
Moss (Matilda’s Triumph), a head and neck surgeon, relates a powerful account of the three years he spent working as a cancer surgeon in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Thailand. After his medical school residency, Moss decided to practice “in places where patients had little or no access to proper health care” at “appalling stages” of their diseases. Throughout his travels in the late 1980s, he shares the “intense suffering and need that existed” in each country, as well as the “dedicated cadre of residents and doctors” he met at each destination. He also experienced a spiritual transformation after meeting, in Thailand, his wife-to-be, who introduced him to Buddhism—the beliefs of which later informed his practice of medicine. The final part of his travels took him to Bangladesh, where “the poverty and overpopulation and lack of resources” tested his ability “to make even a dent in the misery” as he treated, among other patients, a boy with a cancerous growth so large that it doubled the size of his face. Eventually, Moss became exhausted and frustrated with the bureaucracy he encountered, and he writes clearly and sincerely about his decision to return to the U.S.: “I did not anticipate my confrontation with my limitations and myself. There were painful truths I failed to grasp.” Moss’s thoughtful account of his triumphs as well as his failures proves to be as instructive as it is moving. (BookLife)