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Doc Susie

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  222 ratings  ·  55 reviews
The bestselling true story of a woman doctor at the turn of the century and her triumph over prejudice, poverty, and even her own illness. When she arrived in Colorado in 1907, Dr. Susan Anderson had a broken heart and a bad case of tuberculosis. But she stayed to heal the sick, tend to the dying, fight the exploitative railway management, and live a colorful, rewarding li ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 22nd 1992 by Ivy Books (first published January 1st 1991)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 377)
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Willow
I read this because I’m always interested in Colorado history. The author does a really good job creating the time and place with vivid detail. Doc Suzie was one determined woman. It wasn’t easy being a woman mountain doctor. I found her life fascinating.
Susan
Very Interesting account of a woman physician, who came to the Colorado Fraser Valley to treat her tuberculosis at the age of 36 and stayed until she was almost 90. Her story is intertwined with the story of the building of the Moffatt Tunnel for the railroads and the accounts of loggers and ranchers in the area. The author has done her research on life ( a hard one) in the Rockies in the early 1900's.
The only drawback is that the author tends to try to build a romance into Doc Susie's life, and
...more
Maryclaire Zampogna
I picked this book while on vacation in Colorado. It is so real. The descriptions of the mountains, mines, and shelters are perfect. You feel like you are right there with Doc Susie as she visits the lumber camps, rides the range and makes a place for herself in the women's world of medicine. If you love history you will love this book.
Kate Lawrence
Living in Fraser, Colorado, at the beginning of the 20th century as that rare species, a female physician, was not easy, but Susan Anderson pulled it off with verve and style. By encouraging prevention as well as treatment, she single-handedly improved the health of the whole community while saving her own life in the bargain. She had been so ill with tuberculosis in her thirties when she first set out for Fraser that she had to be lifted aboard the train, but ultimately lived to be 90! Her life ...more
Jennifer
So many local history books sensationalize, or are poorly written or edited. This one is an exception. I really enjoyed reading about Doc Susie's life, and also the history of the railroad. We live not too far from Fraser and it's always fascinating to read about what the Colorado pioneers faced.
Carol
A friend gave me this book when I moved to Fraser, Colorado. I knew nothing of this little town high in the mountains, but learned so much about Colorado, and this wonderful woman. It was a really captivating story and ended up loving this book.
Erinn
I loved this little book! I found this little gem rather serendipitously at a bookshop near Rocky Mountain National Park. The author is one of little note and lives in Kansas.

While reading this memior, I was struck how much I identified with Doc Susie, country doctor. Her life was remarkable, especially for the time she lived. At the end of the book...I just wanted to meet her. It's rare to find true stories of women who have lived such adventures.

Although the chapters in the book are chronologi
...more
Jb
A fun read - this true character had a lot of spunk. I also enjoyed the familiar references to the Fraser area. I found the historical references to the railroad, logging, and the political machinations of Denver elite and the newspapers to be pretty interesting.
Diana
Apr 09, 2008 Diana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Diana by: no one. I was just interested because of the title and the pict
Another true story! What a great movie it would make. Doc Susie's picture appears on the cover. She's really cute. She wasn't really from Colorado but came to Colorado when she had TB, hoping the pure mountain air would help her. She was not planning to practice medicine at that time. However, her first patient was a horse since people (mostly men) had taboos about women doctors. Doc Susie had some pretty what we call "old-fashioned" ways of treating illnesses but they worked! She was a real ble ...more
Laura Jostes
If you want to read a story of true grit, read Doc Susie. She was a wonder woman who touched many lives in the mountain town of Fraser, CO. She even managed to save a good number of them, too!
Seoda
This is a really wonderful story. Besides the obvious draw of reading about a woman practicing frontier medicine, which others have already written about,there is also quite a bit about the railroads...Both in the larger political sense, and the stories of individual workers. Learning more about the lives of those who labored digging tunnels, laying track and hauling lumber was fascinating. More hair-raising were the accounts of what it took to bring a train over the snowy mountains. Anyway...Gr ...more
Tianna
Mar 01, 2009 Tianna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: biography, historical
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jane
Much better than I anticipated. It is written on the level of jr hi or hi school level. She was very interesting - however probably not quite as saintly as the author would have us believe. A lot of detail about the Moffat tunnel building, logging, and what the conditions were like in Fraser, CO during the beginning of the 20th century. One thing bothered me - her fascination and romantic dreams about a man so much like her father. We women are most times looking for our father in the men we mee ...more
Kathy
This was a great little gem! Doc was a strong independent woman long before it was fashionable. Her story was inspiring because it showed how one person can make a difference. Doc Susie worked in harsh, and often, unwelcoming conditions. Dispite this, she continued on with what she felt called to do and gained the love and respect of her friends, neighbors and peers. Much of her life was spent in a rough and rugged Colorado outpost, while history was being made with the building of the Moffat Tu ...more
Jane Mettee
Wow! Not an easy life. Unusual for a woman in esp. in those days to live like that. Very interesting true story.
Sarahandus
In my opinion a well written book is one that draws you in so completely you have to spend a few moments decompressing when you quit reading. This is such a book.

Doc susie's life was hard but she made the most of it, dealing with climate and the prejudices of the times and people.

The fact that I came from that part of the country made it even more interesting. Especially the reports on the Moffat tunnel. Been through it a number of times, but never really knew the history of it.
Linda
Very well written book not only of a female doctor who settles in Fraser due to her tuberculosis, but also about the railroad from Denver to the western slope. The Moffat Tunnel is being built during her time so while she tends to lumberjacks initially, as those jobs dwindle and the men migrate to the tunnel work, she she's first hand the tragedies and politics of the railroad system in Colorado.

Reads very easily.
Joanne
I had forgotten about this book until I read "Tomboy Bride" this month. Doc Susie is Susan Anderson, who graduated from the University of Michigan in 1897 with her medical degree. She served as the only doctor for many years in Fraser, Colorado, close by Winter Park, Colorado, where I met my husband to be. It is a wonderful historical novel for those interested in Colorado history. I highly recommend it.
Courtney
i loved the colorado history and descriptions of the terrain and trans traversing the terrain
Kim
Excellent book. Makes me want to read more about her and about Colorado history including more about the building of the Moffat tunnel. Definitely makes me appreciate the water coming from my tap (Denver water) all the more, realizing the sacrifices that went into building the pipeline. Doc Susie was a pioneer to women's rights without intending to do so.
Rachel
This book is one of my first "Wray Wreader" books. Since my branch at Church doesn't have a book club I joined the local Wray book club at the library. This book was alright. I was interested to learn more about Colorado history and rural medicine. But unless you have an interest in the before mentioned topics I would not recommend this book :)
Maria Ramos
An interesting story and fairly well written. Set in Fraser, CO, a lumbering town just west of the continental divide. The book is a series of vignettes about a woman physician around 1900, how she treated her patients, how the railroad figured in their lives and what labor conditions were like as Colorado was settled.
Christi
This is a fairly interesting book written about the first female Doctor in Colorado who lived in Fraser. It had a good story but I wish it had been more autobiographically based and less like a weird soap opera harlequin hybrid where the author was just trying to speculate on the details of her personal life.
Penny
A fascinating bio that delves into the true experiences of a pioneer woman doctor in the wild west. Educational, inspirational and heart-warming, you'll come away with a feeling of affection and gratitude for this brilliant and strong woman who inspired the popular tv series "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman".
Christy
i have great respect for this woman who defied all definitions of women and doctors of her time. i really enjoyed how hard she worked, how compassionate she was toward others and how she remained happy through it all.
Nanette
Fabulous book that details the life of this doctor in the Frasier Valley here in Colorado. I have even more appreciation for the area and the incredible hardships the residents faced in the early 1900s.
Catriona
Oct 17, 2007 Catriona rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Frasier County history buffs
Shelves: home
Pretty interesting if you have visited this part of Colorado, otherwise you need to have an interest in local Western history and/or early Women doctors. And maybe trains, if you can hang with the romance.
Jessica McCann
This is a biography that reads like a novel. Entertaining and educational. If you enjoy history and historical novels about Colorado, the West, and early-1900s America, you'll love this book.
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“In those days, Doc Susie used medications interchangeably between humans and animals. That was before pharmaceutical houses discovered a fundamental economic principle. Label a medication for human consumption, and a higher price could be charged.” 0 likes
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