The Company of Butchers

This story was recently published in Hektoen International A journal of medical humanities  to read the full story go to

  A young doctor just raw out of medical school is assigned to the emergency room in the meat market area. A butcher is brought in, totally drunk, all bloody, “his thumb dangling like a lifeless twig from a branch.” Quite inexperienced, the young doctor takes 40 minutes to stitch it back, but it resumes its pink color. The patient slept through the operation. His supervisor looks in and disdainfully advises him never to go into surgery. But two weeks later the butcher comes back, his thumb healed and functional. “Nice job guvner. Not that I remember much about it, like,” he says, “Me and my mates wants you to join us, like, for a pint or two next week when you’re on duty.” He was sorely tempted!

Read the full story  The company of butchers – John Graham-Pole