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May 18, 1963

The surgeon.

Author Affiliations

Chapel Hill, N.C.

JAMA. 1963;184(7):603. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700200125035

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This is a "novel about a dedicated man and his dramatic life." Dr. Matthew Carter, or Matt Carter to his intimate associates, is a prototype of the modern thoracic surgeon. He lives an austere, harried, and ascetic life with his wife in a midtown apartment that boasts a doorman and entrance awning. The setting could be in one of a number of American megalopolitan agglutinations.

To me, the book is a combination of Arrowsmith, Mickey Spillane, and Ben Casey. This impression is in no way meant to be disrespectful to Mr. Heinz, the author. It is obvious throughout the entire book that Mr. Heinz is a genuine and loyal friend of the medical profession. Through his nonprofessional eye he may see the modern, urban, and urbane doctor with more realism and reality than the doctor sees himself. At any rate, Dr. Matt Carter is no easygoing, old-fashioned, relaxed family physician.

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