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Gifts from the Poor: What the World’s Patients Taught One Doctor About Healing

Gift from the Poor book coverFor more than four decades, surgeon and educator Glenn Geelhoed has taken medical missions to the poorest parts of the globe to treat patients at no cost and train locals to dispense care. Drawn from indelible memories, personal papers, and Geelhoed's daily journals, Gifts from the Poor takes readers along on his journey. Whether he is stitching wounds, delivering babies, mentoring younger colleagues, or challenging destructive cultural practices, Geelhoed constantly discovers the power and dignity of each individual.

From solid, Midwestern beginnings, Geelhoed developed a profound drive to explore the world. What he found both thrilled and goaded him, and shaped a career in which he jousted with medical establishments, confronted corruption, and followed his own instincts. Geelhoed exposes the true mechanics of foreign medical aid and development and proposes game-changing alternatives to the status quo. Most of all, he advocates an upside-down approach to international medical service in which the educated healer gathers a wealth of wisdom from the poorest patients.

A self-described "hunter-gatherer" whose interests range far beyond his profession, Geelhoed takes readers outside the medical tent to experience adventures in some of the world's harshest environments. His exploits as a marathon runner, photographer, and hunter add an unexpected dimension to his portraits of life on the edge.

An inspiring tale of compassion, conviction and grit, Gifts from the Poor is Geelhoed's invitation to join him in healing a wounded world. His determination and energy will empower you in your own life's journey.

All proceeds to be donated to the Medical Mission Hall of Fame Foundation.

How do you eat an elephant? Comments made at an evening meeting of members of a Shoulder-to-Shoulder Medical Brigade that occurred in Concepcion, Intibuca, Honduras on February 22, 2010.

Last Updated: 6/27/22