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Doc Susie

4.01  ·  Rating Details ·  318 Ratings  ·  78 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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Oct 20, 2012 Willow rated it really liked it
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.
An excellent recounting of the the life of Doc Susie, a country doctor in rural Fraser Colorado from 1907 - 1958. Her story is fascinating and I enjoyed reading it very much. A lot of history as well about the railroad, the trains, the men who worked them; the Swedish lumberjacks, the lumber camps; the medicine of the day, and the people of Fraser.
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.
Jan 07, 2015 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Feb 21, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 26, 2015 Jenny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a pleasure to read after just returning from Fraser, CO. Doc put the miners, railroad and tunnel workers before herself as she cared for them and their families. It's an easy read. Great historical novel.
Apr 17, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Maureen Grigsby
Sep 19, 2015 Maureen Grigsby rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably out of print today, but this was a fascinating true story of a female Colorado physician in the early 1900's. I find descriptions of the lifestyle and medical care to be incredibly interesting! Really enjoyed this book.
Jan 05, 2017 Christy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nf-bio-mem
Date read unknown
May 09, 2016 Susanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
While Doc Susie’s story is interesting and inspiring in itself, author Virginia Cornell’s narrative approach is what makes the biography so compelling. Cornell grew up in Hideaway Park, two miles from Fraser where her parents established Miller’s Idlewild Inn near the West Entrance Portal to the Moffat Tunnel, which figures so prominently in the book . After she received her PhD in Renaissance English Literature from Arizona State University, she returned to manage her family’s ski resort as wel ...more
Sep 27, 2016 Frank rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story
April Rogers
Mar 30, 2016 April Rogers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Doc Susie was a female doctor in the very early 1900s that contracted TB and went into the mountains to try to regain her health. Once she improved she soon began treating those in the logger & railroad communities. The book is well told in story fashion and gives insight not only to the formidable Susan Anderson but also to the men who struggled and died to see the tunnel complete. The tales often centered on the strong women trying to maintain home and proper nutrition for their children w ...more
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
Apr 09, 2008 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  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
Oct 02, 2009 Seoda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 14, 2010 Jane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 15, 2012 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 01, 2009 Tianna rated it really liked it  ·  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.
Robert Coleman
Jul 28, 2016 Robert Coleman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I originally bought this book for a History of Colorado course at CU-Boulder. For whatever reason, the book was dropped from the syllabus, and then sat on my bookshelf unread for several years. I'm glad I finally picked it up. The story provides interesting insights into life in early 1900s Colorado. It's really a story of community, subverting expected gender roles, heartbreak, and finding acceptance. Doc Susie was an incredible woman, but the stories of her patients and friends in Grand County ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Wendy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biographies
Susan Anderson, MD came to Frasier, CO to recover from TB. Not only did she recover her health, but she remained to minister to the lumberjacks, miners, ranchers and railroaders (not mention horses and cows) in an era when women doctors were not widely accepted. A second storyline of the digging of the Moffat Tunnel through the Rockies, showed the graft, the danger, and the way the workers and the county were taken advantage of by the owner. A very readable book.
Jan 05, 2015 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 15, 2012 Sarahandus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history
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.
Mar 18, 2009 Joanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 09, 2011 Penny rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bio-memoir
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".
Sep 07, 2007 Christi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, biography
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.
Feb 05, 2012 Kim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
It was well-written, which is always a pleasure. Doc Susie was a remarkable lady, but I am so sorry that she never married. I felt sad for her.
Nov 14, 2008 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 03, 2011 Maria Ramos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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