Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Star Surgeon” as Want to Read:
Star Surgeon
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Read Book* *Different edition

Star Surgeon

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Dal Timgar had always wanted to be a doctor. As a Garvian and the first non-human to study medicine on Hospital Earth, he must face enormous adversity from classmates, professors, and some of the highest ranking physicians on all of Earth. Will his efforts be enough to earn him the Silver Star of a Star Surgeon?

Approx. 5.5 hours
Audiobook, 6 pages
Published June 14th 2007 by LibriVox (first published 1959)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Star Surgeon, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Star Surgeon

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  369 ratings  ·  59 reviews

Sort order
Jan 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
The moment the humanity found a way to travel fast in space they discovered Galactic Confederation of different aliens. All of the members of Confederation were good at something and (to my complete and utter surprise) humans appeared to be great at medicine. Our good old planet was renamed to Hospital Earth and doctors from it traveled everywhere in the known space fighting epidemics, incurable diseases, exotic plagues, and other related medical emergencies.

Needless to say the humans jealously
Jun 30, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Laf Lyons
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable refreshing take on an intergalactic corporation that see's humans significant contributions to a galactic confederation as purely medical. A simple story following the narrative of finding your place within a world set on rejecting you. Dal (the only non-human in 'Medical Earth's' medical fleet) is humble with his surgical qualifications and abilities and at times unsure. But we follow his journey as he learns to trust himself and his place.

The ensemble is delightful enough, I particul
Note : 3 étoiles pour cette novella plutôt YA écrite en 1960 par un auteur pratiquement inconnu en France

Le thème : la vocation professionnelle ou comment la force morale et la compétence permet une insertion malgré un ostracisme flagrant (m'a semblé fortement inspiré par Stars Sturgeon de James WHITE pour la vision soins aux ET )

des défauts : un peu trop moralisateur avec des ficelles très voyantes et peu crédibles (pourquoi les humains seraient-ils les seuls à avoir développé une science médic
John Desmarais
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a weird soft spot for medical drama science-fiction, so this book fits well into my personal tastes. Although a bit dated (it is nearly 60 years old) it holds up pretty well. Nourse's writing style was just a bit ahead of his time, so hit proses lacks some of the odd stilted was that many of his contemporaries share, making this a very easy read. Fun bits of light dramatic tension, although most readers will probably guess what the final resolution will be early in the book. All in all, a ...more
Perry Whitford
Aug 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just who in the name of DeForest Kelley would think to write a Star Trek-style science fiction novel featuring the Earth as part of a Galactic Confederation of spacefaring species in which the heroes boldly going where no one has gone before are - wait for it - doctors?

Answer? A doctor, of course.

In physician and sci-fi writer Alan E. Nourse's take on the future, we will all come to live on Hospital Earth, and due to our superior skills with surgery and all things medical will be 'in charge of t
Apr 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Star Surgeon was penned in 1959 but it still holds up remarkably well today. This novel is a good example of what I call "hopeful" science fiction-humanity has not put all its' faults behind it but has reached the stars and is trying to settle into a new existence as part of a confederation of galactic cultures. Though the book itself is short it is filled with timely events that will probably strike a chord with the modern reader-Dr Dal Timgar is the first non-human to attend and graduate from ...more
The novel is quite often mentioned as a ‘classic medicine sf’, so finding it in the Storytel catalogue I decided to give it a try. As with many classics the age shows. The story itself is a standard ‘overcoming the prejudice’ motive – Earth had already eliminated wars and racism (and I had to remind myself several times that black doctor has nothing to do with said doctor’s skin, and everything with his uniform), but prejudice against non-humans does occur giving the story a start.
What bothers m
Jamie Rich
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Star Surgeon by Alan E. Nourse

A very quick, easy read. Really I think this could fairly be a YA title? And please note that I do enjoy YA titles, so that was not a bad comment. I actually read the entirety of this book on my flights home from Denver a couple of days ago. Yes, it's that quick.
So, yes a quick read, but fun nonetheless. Basically a young outcast seeks to embitter himself, and also serve the greater good. He has troubles with his fellow crew on the Patrol Ship Lancet, and also from
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Haven’t read a lot of classic sci-fi lately, so this was a refreshing read. I enjoyed the protagonist,Dal Timgar, for his bravery and take-charge persona. The dialogue comes across a little stuffy in a few spots, but the storyline and supporting characters are solid. Overall, a nice escapist tale!
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is a Librivox ( audiobook in the public domain.
I don't remember reading it in my younger days, but the straight forward story brings back thoughts of a time when anything was possible.
I enjoyed the story and I would recommend it to none critical fans of classic science fiction.
A good read.
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not since junior high school so many years ago have I read a book that captivated my soul. Probably my reaction has not a little to do with my training and practice as a physician since then. Even though this book was primarily about the practice of medicine, there were interesting comments that pertain to the current, 2018, social status of my country.
Mar 30, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Star Surgeon seems to me more of a book written in the 40s than the late 50s. It has the feel of a fix up, but I don't think it is. I found the plot to be rather simplistic although some of the things the surgeons come across are different. Over all I liked it, but if it had been longer I might not have.
Katherine George
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm going to be honest here, this book wasn't worth the read. The idea was interesting, but it felt that the author couldn't make up his mind on how to end the book. Just very dissatisfied with this book, it could have been so much better.
Mary May
One of my first introductions to science fiction, I read this book when I was in Grade 7. Its story has stuck with me all these years and I am determined to find a copy somewhere and read it again.
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
pretty good story. there were a few parts that seemed to be a bit rushed. but overall an enjoyable read.
Michelle R. Wood
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: solo, science-fiction
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
Apr 26, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Mar 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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

Brian Smith
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
A bizarre and unlikely future, Star Surgeon is more fantasy than hard science fiction. No intelligent machines whatsoever inhabit this future. Dated card- and ticker-tape using computers abound. I listened to this book as a LibriVox public domain audiobook on YouTube. The story hasn't aged well, but some aspects of it are surprisingly modern. For example, despite being published in 1959, only 6 years after the discovery of the structure of DNA, many modern ideas are present, including full bioch ...more
***Dave Hill
Jan 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: text, favorites
Not much to add. Still an enjoyable read.


JAN 2012

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 (obv
Dec 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorite books in grade school. I read it again recently while at the airport. The Earth is the health care provider for the Federation and the entire planet has been turned into a hospital with support facilities. A promising, young alien makes it through medical school and then is the first non-human to go on to residency. Yes, this book reads like an old, children's science fiction novel. The discussion on medical decision making and the process of becoming professionally i ...more
Dec 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jun 17, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,
Jul 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
Considering this was written in 1959, this was actually really good. It's about an alien named Dal who really wants to be a surgeon for Hospital Earth. He has to face "racism" among the teachers and students during his training, cuz they don't want no alien becoming a doctor and what not. Humans are the best surgeons and doctors in this story. He he he! But even among all the discord he comes across, he raises up and doesn't let the "racism" get him down. I enjoyed listening to this story and yo ...more
Sian Bradshaw
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
I did like this book but it suffered from one major omission.

I enjoyed the description of the institutions and got a real feeling of how hard the protagonist battles, as an alien, to be accepted as a doctor and work towards surgeon. I enjoyed the mentioned of his undefined friend, Fuzzy. I liked the idea that an infection could be a race of people.

But the reason I have given this two stars is that it sets itself up as a book about the other and discrimination. Not a single woman is ever mentione
Oct 05, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, fantasy, audible
(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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Voodoo Planet / Star Hunter
  • Kingdom of Cages
  • Water Witch
  • The Galaxy Primes
  • The Pirates of Ersatz
  • The Survivors (Ragnarok, #1)
  • Four Day Planet
  • Faith Creation, All Lies Revealed
  • Hunting the Corrigan's Blood (Cadence Drake, #1)
  • Knight Crusader (Carey Family, #1)
  • Mirror Friend, Mirror Foe
  • Ingathering: The Complete People Stories
  • Red Rain (Unacccepted, #1)
  • Men, Martians and Machines
  • Polar City Blues (Polar City #1)
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
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »