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Star Surgeon

3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  187 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Excerpt: ... now it seemed they were walking through an incredible treasure-trove stocked with everything that they could possibly have wanted. For Jack there was a dress uniform, specially tailored for a physician in the Blue Service of Diagnosis, the insignia woven into the cloth with gold and platinum thread. Reluctantly he turned away from it, a luxury he could never d ...more
Paperback, 52 pages
Published August 24th 2012 by (first published 1959)
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Noran Miss Pumkin
Audio via YouTube. A vintage 6o's Sci Fi story, written by a medical doctor. I wonder if he had the idea before Star Trek? The Earth develops space travel , and discovers a federation of worlds. Each planet, that is a member has to meet two criteria. First is to have the advanced technology for extended space travel. The second was to offer a special service/skill to the federation. Earth specialty became medicine/medical care. By contract of course, just like a policy. Four branches of service, ...more

Excerpt: ... now it seemed they were walking through an incredible treasure-trove stocked with everything that they could possibly have wanted. For Jack there was a dress uniform, specially tailored for a physician in the Blue Service of Diagnosis, the insignia woven into the cloth with gold and platinum thread. Reluctantly he turned away from it, a luxury he could never dream of affording. For Tiger, who had been muttering for weeks about getting out of condition in the sedentary life of the s

Michelle R. Wood
Space opera creators tend to focus on military commanders and revolutionary leaders, plucky adventurers and scrappy underdogs. Until I read Star Surgeon I never considered what an entire story based on intergalactic medicine might look like. Turns out doctors are as complex, imaginative, and just plain fun to sail the stars with as any other hero, with the boldest mission yet: not only to seek out new life, but to save it as well.

Star Surgeon is also unique in choosing to cast an alien character
Very much a product of its time.

Earth is poised on the brink of becoming a full member of the Galactic Federation. Of all the races so far encountered Earth's humans have the best skills in medicine, and Earth has become the sole provider of medical services to the galaxy at large, contracting out their services to a multiplicity of species. Dal Timgar is the first non-human to be accepted by Hospital Earth as a student. His ambition is to become a surgeon.

He encounters hostility and prejudice
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
***Dave Hill
One of my YA loves from my own youth, this book still stands up pretty decently over the decades. Nourse's own medical background helps lend verisimilitude to this tale of the first alien to try and become an accredited surgeon on a future Earth. Earth is a provisional member of the Galactic federation, specializing in medical science, and some think that letting aliens into to club will remove that monopolistic leverage.

Good stuff with (obvious to me today) lessons on racial prejudice, creative
Dal Tilgar wants to be a doctor more than anything. But... he is an alien who has managed to graduate from a Terran medical school where he has had to deal with prejudice. The medical board does not want to certify him or give him an assignment. Luckily, he does have a patron who manages to convince the board to put Dal on probation. He sets sail on a hospital ship with fellow newbies Jack and Tiger. When they come to a plague planet, the three must work together to solve the insolvable. With th ...more
George Sterling
fun read

Just finished this book for the third time read it first when I was young and have been looking for it for some time. This is a very fun book to read and would recommend to anyone who just wanted a easy and fun read.
Wilson E. Stevens Sr.
This was downloaded from Project Gutenberg. Published in 1959, one of the early books exploring medical technology controlled by Earth and provided to the galaxy. Story of a young alien wanting to be a doctor, who applied at the medical schools on earth, was accepted and trained. His subsequent trials as senior medical team members wanted him removed, believing that the future of earth was to be served only by individual born and raised on earth that are the doctors to the galaxy. Surprise endin ...more
The story of a future world where Hospital Earth was the mdeical arm of the Galactic Confederation. Giant hospital ships patrolled sectors and the smaller General Practice Patrol ships followed a circuit as well as answering emergencies.

In such a world, Dal Timgar, an alien, dared to want to be a doctor. Most of humanity wanted him to fail, with only one friend, classmate Tiger Martin, and one backer, one of the powerful Black Doctors of Pathology, Arnquist. But an equally powerful Black Doctor,
I found a 2nd printing of this book in hardback. Very good book from the golden age of science fiction! Unique.
(Audible) This story is very much of another day - there are no women mentioned in the entire book and the characters interact with viral pathogens without the fear that we now have of the HIV virus - but it's a solid, entertaining story. It's either written for the YA market or suitable for that market (in 1960!) but I liked the three main characters, simple thought their characterizations were and this is a good example of a story that is great for the Audible market. Who could resist doctors ...more
Marts  (Thinker)
Dal Timgar, a Garvian, attempts to become a surgeon of Hospital Earth!....
Hmm.. I enjoyed this tale, Dal is a Garvian from the planet of a distant star who people are traders, but he decides he wants to be a surgeon, goes to medical school for 8 years, tops the class, sounds good huh, but there's a problem, Hospital Earth doesn't usually accept persons of alien races! Well Dal ends up having quite a few adventures, read about them... Sci fi fans and Alan Nourse fans would enjoy this tale!!
Written in the mid 60s, this book reads a bit like it's written for "young adults." A story of galactic civilizations and prejudice overcome, but written in a rather obvious and simplistic fashion. The drama is mostly a young doctor's concern for his continuing career being cut short unfairly, but there's a nice bit of medical intrigue near the end. If the entire book had a bit more of that interest, I would rate it higher, but ultimately, it felt bland.
B. Zedan
Sep 09, 2008 B. Zedan rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Folks who are cool with a mid-par story of overcoming prejudice
In Future, racial oppression is based on what world you're from, and only Earthlings get to be doctors. Oh noes, seriously? But Main Character totally slogs on anyhow and goes to school on Hospital Earth (what? yes, apparently only humans figured out how to overcome bacteria nasties, do brain surgery and stop plague, etc.), a planet bucking for galactic membership.

It is okay! Everyone learns this lesson in the end and loves each other.
This was a really good read. Well worth your time if you are interested in a little retro-sci fi adventure. (Course, it wasn't retro when it was written in 1959).

The most fascinating part of it is that, despite the slightly dated elements, it still hits a number of medical advancements on the head heart transplants, fetal stem cells (being used to grow tissues used for transplant), and the total comodification of medical treatment.
Dal Timgar and his very small, fuzzy, pink companion. Dal is studying medicine on Earth.
"But as long as Dal could remember, he had wanted to be a doctor. From the first time he had seen a General Practice Patrol ship landing in his home city to fight the plague that was killing his people by the thousands, he had known that this was what he wanted more than anything else: to be a physician of Hospital Earth . . ."
A fun romp with some classic sci-fi, if you don't mind a little xenophobia with your storytelling. It amazed me that an author would write a book with such a rampant amount of xenophobia in an otherwise enlightened intergalactic alliance, although this does end up being a central point of the book.

A fairly easy read with mostly likeable characters and some interesting alien species.
I read this as an audio book and I enjoyed it so much that I'm thinking of getting a print copy. It's kinda like the movie Outbreak, only in space. Where the protagonist is the first alien to get through medical training on "Hospital Earth." In other words, fun.A little dated in feel, in some of the technology (microfilm-like data tapes), but it's still wonderful. :)
May 08, 2008 Kimbolimbo rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone, especially sci-fi geeks and the medically-minded
Shelves: read-in-2008
Interesting book about prejudice. It is set in the future when space travel is common and many alien races have formed a Galactic Federation. Humans have the talent for medicine, they are the doctors of the Galactic Federation and they take great pride in their abilities. How will they react when an alien applies to join their medical profession?
Basically this was a Sci Fi a hospital drama about racial acceptance and standing on up on your own under the pressure. Make the main character some sort of minority and set it in any modern medicine time period and you have a hospital drama found in countless TV shows and movies.

Fun little Sci Fi story. Super quick read.
One of the SF novels that I read in childhood that really stuck with me...upon re-reading more because of the way the author handled the "racial prejudice surmounted" theme than the credibility of the plotline. This is the one with the symbiotic tribble.
Simon Ford
Good story told through an alien who happens to be the first non-human to attend Hospital Earth, for the 8 year training required to be a surgeon.

Typical pulp sci-fi.
decent book, rather light fare.

was rather surprised to know that in the future, we'll have biochemistry during the third year of medical school. horror!
What an odd book. Huh. Very old-fashioned scifi, but I liked the non-traditional alien lifeforms.
May 26, 2010 Carolyn marked it as browse-to-read-someday  ·  review of another edition
Think I've read this, but will need to see the book to be sure...
Michael Pryor
A bit of nostalgia. Uncomplicated, adventurous fun.
Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse (2000)
Simple, somewhat dated now, but I still enjoyed the coming of age of the main character
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Alan Edward Nourse was an American science fiction (SF) author and physician. He also wrote under the name Dr. X
He wrote both juvenile and adult science fiction, as well as nonfiction works about medicine and science.
Alan Nourse was born to Benjamin and Grace (Ogg) Nourse. He attended high school in Long Island, New York. He served in the U.S. Navy after World War II. He earned a Bachelor of Sci
More about Alan E. Nourse...
The Universe Between The Bladerunner Raiders from the Rings The Counterfeit Man and Other Science Fiction Stories The Mercy Men

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