Dr. Harold Book

To look at Dr. Harold Book, you might think he is extra on an Old West movie set; his curling handlebar mustache and wizened gaze makes you think of a character from Gunsmoke’s Dodge City.

In fact, he is one of the most respected chiropractors in Southeast Michigan.
Dr. Book already had his degree by the time Vietnam rolled around, and this fact saved him from having to do more than a couple weeks in the field.

 “They sent me out, but once they found out my credentials, the commanders figured I would be of better service in the file hospital.  Still, those two weeks gave me a pretty intense understanding what medics and corpsmen had to face.  When someone went down in a firefight, you had to crawl out there, over people, and quickly, too.  Time is of the utmost essence when someone has been horrifically injured.  You’d tend to them, all the while being shot at yourself.  Many was the time I wanted to yell, ‘Sorry, I don’t do house calls.”

Not that life in a field hospital was much better.  Dr. Book recalls countless eighteen to twenty hour shifts where up to sixty casualties might be dropped on a field hospital at one time, and the medics—understaffed and often, short of supplies—would have to run around and do what they could to stabilize men with wounds so horrific that he chokes up to this day.  He describes the death of a friend in his arms.

“We’d see things over there—traumatic amputations, chest wounds, horrible disfigurements—that most doctors in the States won’t see in a lifetime, not even in Emergency.  This was our daily existence.  You had to force yourself to get used to it—that’s the only way you’d be able to be of adequate service.’

His experiences in Vietnam no doubt contributed to a ‘bedside manner’ that is near legendary, at least, this is the opinion evident in the many testimonials written about him.  Says one, “Dr Book is in practice for his patients, not for the money....He's kind, knowledgeable, understanding, and respectful.”

So, from the horrors of Vietnam, some good may have come. 



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