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War Doctor: Surgery on the Front Line

4.65  ·  Rating details ·  1,157 ratings  ·  121 reviews
For more than twenty-five years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out life-saving operations and field surgery in the most challenging conditions, ...more
Hardcover, 355 pages
Published February 21st 2019 by Picador
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Average rating 4.65  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,157 ratings  ·  121 reviews


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Nat
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Such a hard-hitting book written by one of the most heroic people I have ever come across.

What. A. Guy.

(The writing itself is 4 stars but the lasting impression it gives makes it a 5 star book)
Laura
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Bettie
From BBC Radio 4 - Book of the week:
David Nott, the frontline trauma surgeon reads from his memoir about working in some of the world's most dangerous conflicts.

For over twenty-five years, David Nott, has taken time off from his job as a vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in war zones and areas impacted by natural disasters. Together with his compassion and a desire to help others, his skills on the operating table have saved countless lives, and he now trains others in
...more
Rebecca
Welsh surgeon David Nott combines advanced technical skills with extreme altruism: for weeks of every year he takes unpaid leave to volunteer with a medical charity like Médecins sans Frontières or Syria Relief in war zones or disaster areas around the world. The kinds of procedures he has performed in Sarajevo, Kabul and Darfur are a world away from his normal work as an NHS consultant in London: amputations, treating injuries caused by homemade bombs, and delivering the babies of young rape vi ...more
Bettie
Feb 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: BBC listeners


https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000...

Description: For more than twenty-five years, David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From Sarajevo under siege in 1993, to clandestine hospitals in rebel-held eastern Aleppo, he has carried out life-saving operations and field surgery in the most challenging conditions, and with none of the resources of a major London teaching hospital.

The conflicts he has worked in form a chronology of twenty-first-cent
...more
Laura
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: five-star
This was such an emotionally charged read, and one that I recommend everyone has a copy of. I’ve read lots of similar books this year but none quite like this; the author is an NHS doctor but volunteers himself, unpaid, to work in some of the most dangerous areas of the world, taking care of casualties of war whether that be newborn babies to Isis soldiers.

The author documents with searing honesty the realities of his work and how he spent countless hours only yards from fighting in
...more
ST
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible.

What an amazing man, it blows my mind the places he’s been and the things he’s done in the most terrifying of war zones.

Told in a truly accessible way. I have more understanding of the issues in some of these conflicts globally through this than through many news reports.

Incredible career, inspiring read
Jackie Law
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In a growing field of medical memoirs War Doctor stands out for its purpose – to increase awareness of the reality of modern warfare on the individuals and communities directly affected. The author has volunteered his services as a trauma surgeon in active war zones including: Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Chad, the Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Gaza and Syria. He pulls no punches in his descriptions of the horrific injuries and personal d ...more
Shahiron Sahari
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An excellent and gripping book written by a genuine humanitarian and true-life superhero. David Nott is a Welsh surgeon who has, since he qualified, been dropping everything at the drop of a hat to work in war zones, saving the lives of countless poor souls unlucky enough to be caught in some of the worst conflicts of our time.
One of the worst situations he writes about, and which he brought to attention on British TV, was the time he and his fellow surgeons noticed that casualties were co
...more
Jordanna Zetter
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-non-fiction
Fantastic book. A great insight into some of the biggest conflicts of our life time but from a different view point. Written excellently showcasing the real emotional and moral struggles that arise. Dr David Knott is an incredible person and his story is equally as brilliant.
Lanxin (Alex)
Feb 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
The book takes you on a loose journey across countries where few people have the courage and ability to venture. Written in a simple and accessible prose, this very personal voice aims to share the harrowing and distressing experiences of a volunteer doctor at some of the most extreme frontlines. It is rather sad but the book still had some moments of joy scattered along for comfort and hope.
Throughout the whole book, and especially the last chapter, Nott showcases the sad limits society still
...more
Katie
Mar 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An incredible man with an astonishing story. Presents the best and worst of humanity. Everyone should read it. I am in awe, he is a wonderful human being.
Caitlin Renouf
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The most heart-wrenchingly moving book I have ever read. Both devastating and inspiring; a truly gripping piece of writing.
Robyn (FailFish)
Jun 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"War Doctor" is a medical memoir by the trauma and vascular surgeon David Nott, chronicling his trips to practice trauma medicine in disaster and conflict zones from 1993 to the present. It's an honest, unflinching recollection of the horrors and realities of war and the reasons people volunteer there. Altruism will only get you so far - to really succeed, you need to thrive on the adrenaline rush of near-death.

Medical non-fiction is a growth area - people are fascinated by how the b
...more
Julie
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dr David Nott is one of those special people who is not only having a busy life working in three London hospitals as a General and Vascular surgeon, but spends weeks each year volunteering to go into war zones to share his expertise. His experiences especially in Syria are pretty harrowing to read, as his descriptions of the wounded and injured are pretty descriptive. Putting himself at immense risk, you have to admire these brave who doctors and nurses who enter these war zones to help civilian ...more
Ellie
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
From war zones to natural disasters, vascular surgeon David Nott has volunteered his time to treat the victims in some of the most dangerous places on Earth. His memoir covers just some of his life-long work and the challenges faced in Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza, Syria, Haiti and Nepal.

This book broke me. David has treated the victims of some of the worst acts humans can do to one another. He spends a considerable portion of this book
...more
david richards
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Remarkable and inspiring

I'm a UK consultant surgeon of 20 years and I have heard David talk on 2 occasions. The first was in Glasgow at a trauma symposium. It was probably the best hour of any meeting I have ever been to. You could hear a pin drop as David explained the full horror of Aleppo. The second was at the Manchester Medical Society with another talk on a the trauma of war injuries. As a Manchester graduate myself it was an easy decision to buy this book. I read it in 2 sittings over a
...more
Tara Jones
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Listened to this on audible and found myself in the car going the long way round so I could listen more. He is utterly an inspiration. A hugely talented surgeon and a gifted writer with an enormous dose of Derry do and absolute humanity.

What he has achieved in his life is truly incredible and puts so much perspective on some of the minor trials and tribulations the rest of us get in a tizzy about. I feel inspired and humbled after reading this.
F.
Jun 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gripping, emotional, heartbreaking, uplifting. I feel exhausted after reading this. David Notts, consultant surgeon, has worked in most war and crisis areas in the world. A true humanitarian, he takes unpaid leave to travel to the most dangerous places to help people and train doctors. He also freely admits to the thrill of the danger.

Each chapter tells of a different mission. Each is absolutely fascinating.

The surgery is described in fascinating detail. I kept being reminded that closing your
...more
Wanda
Mar 02, 2019 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Wanda by: Bettie☯ 
2 MAR 2019 - recommendation through Dear Bettie. Many Thanks.

David Nott, the frontline trauma surgeon reads from his memoir about working in some of the world's most dangerous conflicts.

For over twenty-five years, David Nott, has taken time off from his job as a vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in war zones and areas impacted by natural disasters. Together with his compassion and a desire to help others, his skills on the operating table have saved countless lives, and he
...more
Tobie WG Lerm
Jul 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Emotional and eye-opening

This book opens up one’s eyes again to the significant military conflicts and their resulting humanitarian catastrophes going on around us, whilst celebrating a heroic surgeon who makes a difference to the people on this planet that needs it most.
Carla Cram
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I wanted to be a war correspondent but didn't have the courage to take the leap. Reading David's book, I could completely understand his thrill of the danger. I loved the medical stuff, another interest I could have pursued. An amazing memoir
Dee Weaver
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Outstanding book, and an outstanding man. I admire his honesty in saying that he almost came to enjoy the danger, but also his unstinting work to support and teach other doctors and nurses in war zones, while at the same time saving countless lives. He also clarified the complex and tangled relationships between warring factions in a way that helped me understand how and why the conflicts were happening.
Jane
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most humbling book I have ever read

This book, where do I start to say what I thought? David Nott is a humanitarian saint. The book documents his humanitarian work in the most extreme, war ravaged and disaster stricken countries in the world, Syria, Yemen, Iraq etc. It is written from the heart and documents his voluntary work in these traumatised parts of the world. It is a mixture of extreme sadness, trauma and surviving against all odds with the most hideous of adversity, which most o
...more
Kelly Zilz
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books I have ever listened to on audible.
Anne Bach
Apr 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Everybody should read this book. Simultaneously horrifying and inspiring. Thank you David Nott for doing what I for one would not have the courage to do.
Irving Benjamin
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A unique account by an extraordinary surgeon

Although I have seen David Nott speak several times at surgical meetings, this account of his work in war zones was still a revelation. There is of course much harrowing detail of the cases he has dealt with, but this is set alongside his deeply felt emotional relationships with the local doctors whom he has assisted, guided and trained. From dicing with death in Aleppo to working tirelessly from home to facilitate a ceasefire, this is a book which w
...more
Emma
Apr 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book utterly blew me away. David Nott is truly an amazing human being. His compassion, selflessness and passion shine through this book and by the end of reading it, I was desperate to donate to his foundation (the David Nott Foundation) which aims to educate and train doctors in humanitarian surgery and raise awareness of the importance of medical support for war torn countries. Although I have an awareness of what’s going on in the world, I am ashamed to say I hadn’t really given much tho ...more
India Clegg
Mar 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Truly epic and harrowing book. A must read.
Balambika Hariharan
Sep 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a read!

There are so many individuals, who risk their everything just so that they can be useful to humanity as a whole. Doctors, journalists, social workers, activists, peace workers! So many non-combatants who try to do good either by directly saving lives or telling the world about an atrocity or digging out the truth.

David Nott is a war doctor and his experiences under the most devastating situations of war and destruction just show the dichotomy of human nature, the extreme
...more
ahkeno
Apr 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
David Nott has taken unpaid leave from his job as a general and vascular surgeon with the NHS to volunteer in some of the world’s most dangerous war zones. From : Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Darfur, Congo, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Gaza and Syria. But he has also volunteered in areas blighted by natural disasters, such as the earthquakes in Haiti and Nepal.

My heart beat bounce was stop in some chapter and in some chapter bouncing fast. David brought the insight view of as doctor of
...more
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19 followers
David Malcolm Nott (born 1956) is a Welsh consultant surgeon who works mainly in London hospitals as a general and vascular surgeon, but also volunteers to work in disaster and war zones and also organises training for others in this emergency work. He has been honoured for this dangerous work and is now often styled the "Indiana Jones of surgery".
“It was very difficult not to get involved in the reality of the experience for the people on the ground, whose lives were being torn apart. I felt for them keenly. The citizens of Sarajevo were lovely people who had not harmed anyone, yet were being harmed. I did not know them or their past lives, but they were very vulnerable and it is the vulnerability of human life that - when it is stripped down to its basics - makes us all the same.” 0 likes
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