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Dr. Mayo's Boy

A Century of American Medicine


My father took a scalpel in his gloved hand. The metal blade glistened under the intense light. In one quick thrust, he buried the blade into the patient's abdomen and opened up a wide gash that ran down past the belly button. At exactly that moment, a wave of nausea welled up in my throat. My ?ngers groped for a better hold on my stool. The blood and the smells and the dizziness were too much for a kid who hadn't asked for any of this. I held my ground for less than a minute and then toppled from the stool. I hit the tile ?oor head ?rst. In the far distance, I heard Oma Jones say, 'Future doctors never faint.'