Clearly an homage to the man to whom “virtually every academically affiliated surgeon can trace his or her teachers,” teaching surgeon Imber’s effort is more than a biography. It is a scholarly reconstruction, complete with historical perspective, of the life of a man who managed to revolutionize surgical practices and, indeed, the entire field of surgery, while battling the enduring and debilitating consequences of self-inflicted medical experimentation. To make surgery more efficient for surgeons, safer, and freer of pain for patients, Halsted began to explore various methods of anesthesia, including the then recently discovered drug, cocaine. He became addicted. Failure to kick that addiction played havoc with his professional life and ultimately forced him to turn optimistically to heroin, generally thought at the time to be an effective treatment. The result was lifelong heroin dependence, despite which he was eventually able to not only function but also continue a brilliant career. Imber’s academic style and inclusive approach are solid but may not appeal to all tastes. --Donna Chavez
About the Author
Dr. Gerald Imber
is a well known plastic surgeon and authority on cosmetic surgery, and directs a private clinic in Manhattan. An early proponent of prevention and minimally invasive procedures, he has devised many popular anti-aging techniques, and is attending surgeon at New York Presbyterian Hospital and assistant clinical professor of surgery at Weill-Cornell School of Medicine.
Dr. Imber has published many scientific papers and is a regular lecturer at professional meetings. He is also the author of a number of “beauty books” and has written on many subjects for varied publications such as Departures, and The Wall Street Journal, and appears regularly on network television.