Surgery on the Shoulders of Giants is a heart-wrenching but ultimately uplifting collection of letters written during the medical travels of Saqib Noor, a surgeon in training and a doctor passionate about healthcare in impoverished areas of the world.
Saqib qualified from Nottingham Medical School in 2004 and subsequently has embarked on a career in orthopaedic surgery. The events in the book are described in real time, beginning in South Africa with a series of personal and vivid letters, and continues over a ten year span in various countries and settings.
The writings describe the disasters of the Haiti earthquake and the unprecedented Pakistan floods of 2010 as well as travels to South Africa, Cambodia, Ethiopia and Myanmar.
The letters reveal the immense complexities and challenges of medical work in austere environments as well as the emotional toll it takes on all involved. The stories are filled with sadness yet inspired by hope and truly promote an underlying faith in the goodness of the human condition.
The book is recommended for anyone wanting a terrifically unique human insight into medical care during disasters and the health challenges facing some of the poorest parts of the world.
These letters are likely to stay with the reader many years after they have been read.