Country Doctor

Essays in Memory of Walter E. Eells, M.D.

by Robert J. Eells



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 18/05/2001

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5x8
Page Count : 168
ISBN : 9780759618541

About the Book

Walter E. Eells practiced medicine in a small town in upper New York State for over sixty years. This book contains short stories written about this unusual man and his wife as they served the people of this town (Walton) medically and in so many other ways. This doctor’s medical practice was unique in that his office was in his home, and because he owned and operated a private hospital right across the street. From these two locations, he served a constant flow of patients beginning in June 1930 until the early 1990s. His accomplishments include: delivering over 2,000 babies (many in homes), being the first doctor in Walton and Delaware County to use penicillin, and being the first doctor in Walton to perform operations.

All the stories are true, having been witnessed by his son, Robert, directly, or were shared with him by family members or friends of Dr. Eells. Some of them are humorous and some quite dramatic -- like saving the life of a newborn when it seemed hopeless. The author has added color and dialogue where necessary based on primary or secondary accounts or based on what very likely would have been spoken at the time. But all stories remain essentially true.

It is obvious that medicine like this is no longer possible. Too many changes have taken place in society; we are too complex and impersonal today. Something wonderful has been lost, though, as the reader will soon discover when introduced to Country Doctor.

About the Author

Robert J Eells, is Professor of History and Political Science at Spring Arbor College in Michigan. He has taught for twenty-six years -- previously at Geneva College in Pennsylvania, Rockmont College in Colorado, and at Trinity Christian College in Illinois. Professor Eells has his B.S. from Geneva College, an M.A. from Union College in New YorkState, and a Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico in American Studies. Dr. Eells is the author of two previous biographies -- Lonely Walk: the Life of Senator Mark O. Hatfield (1979) and Forgotten Saint: the Life of Theodore Frelinghuysen (1987). He is also the author of about twenty articles -- mostly about religion and politics -- and a dozen book reviews.

Because his father, Walter E. Eells, had his medical office right in his home and his own hospital across the street, many of the stories in Country Doctor were witnessed by his son, Robert, or were related directly to him by other family members, friends, or long-time patients. And because the author for a time considered medicine as a vocation, he "experienced" some of these stories existentially by assuming the role of a young "Dr. Kildare" during the 1960s -- as a high school and college student. As a result, he was privileged to witness and experience a type of medicine, which -- sadly but understandably -- no longer exists.

Dr. Eells is married to Janice (Johnson) formerly of Albuquerque, New Mexico and they have two children, Richard (14), and Anne (11).