Bloody Practice: Doctoring in the Cariboo and Around the World


140 pages
ISBN 0-920576-97-4
DDC 610'.92





Reviewed by Marilyn Mardiros

Marilyn Mardiros is an associate professor of health sciences at the
University of Ottawa.


Sterling Haynes has produced a delightful book about his experiences as
a medical doctor who has travelled and worked in Western Canada (most
notably in the Cariboo region of British Columbia), and internationally
in Nigeria, the southern United States, and Central America. He begins
with verbal snapshots of his life as a rural doctor. Stories of sadness
(e.g., a decorated World War II soldier is mauled to death by a pack of
dogs on a cold winter night) are balanced by stories of joy.

The book’s contents run the gamut from medical trivia (e.g., George
Washington died from having too much blood taken from him) to
reflections on the human condition. Throughout, the emphasis is on
recording stories, and demystifying medicine and medical practice.
Haynes concludes with a humorous account of his experiences as a patient
(being “tubed,” having an MRI, etc.).

All in all, Bloody Practice is a fun read that reminds us of the need
for empathy and compassion in medicine today.


Haynes, Sterling., “Bloody Practice: Doctoring in the Cariboo and Around the World,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 17, 2024,