Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography Page: 62
This book is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided to The Portal to Texas History by the University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries .
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By the time the brother arrived, my patient's disturbance had
pretty much run its course. At any rate, he left with the brother
and I stayed behind.
I decided to take stock of my situation. I was in my mid-
twenties. I knew if I were ever going to become a doctor, it
was now or never. And I had noticed, on the edge of town, a
large, plain wooden building of barnlike aspect. This building,
I learned, housed Pierre University, a small Presbyterian insti-
tution. I pricked up my ears and decided to investigate.
I presented myself, and was referred to a Dr. Burnside, who
taught biology. Dr. Burnside was very much interested and
sympathetic, and impressed to some degree by my hospital
experience in the East. The fact that I was a Presbyterian also
helped, although I am sure my religious leanings would have
made no serious difference. He asked me to come again. He
would think the matter over. Perhaps we could work out some
way of having me earn my way. The next time I called at his
house, I was directed to the stable out back. Dr. Burnside had a
very sick horse, and was tending to him.
Now, my father had always liked animals, and spared them
his irascibility. From him I had learned a little of the veterinary
art. I found Dr. Burnside about to give his sick animal a dose
of aconite, a highly poisonous alkaloid then widely used, both
with beasts and humans, as a cardiac and respiratory sedative. I
persuaded him not to do this, for I remembered that in cases
of equine distemper, or strangles as we called it, my father had
always had great success with warm water and linseed oil as a
mild purge. This we administered and Dr. Burnside's horse
quickly recovered. My stock, so to speak, rose with his!
This small success convinced him of my medical potential.
Presently I was attending classes at Pierre University, and
earning my keep by doing odd jobs in the stable and elsewhere
for Dr. Burnside and other professors. I smelled of the stable,
but I was learning, and my spirits were high.
Dr. Burnside was still deeply concerned about the conflict
Here’s what’s next.
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Atkinson, Donald Taylor. Texas Surgeon: an Autobiography, book, 1958; New York. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth143566/m1/74/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting University of Texas Health Science Center Libraries.