About The Book

Dr. James V. Donadio Jr. was fresh out of his medical residency training in 1966 when he was drafted into the United States Army Medical Corps and sent to Vietnam to supervise a renal (kidney) intensive-care unit at the 3rd Field Hospital near Saigon. In From Mayo Clinic to Vietnam: Memoirs of a Physician Serving in the War, Dr. Donadio looks back at his year of treating American soldiers wounded on the battlefield. During his service there, he also cared for Vietnamese civilians in outpatient clinics and Vietnamese children in nearby orphanages. Although Dr. Donadio found the unique medical practice in the war zone to be both challenging and rewarding, it was painful to leave his wife and four children for a year and required extra mental effort on his part to push ahead and attend to his medical responsibilities. “In a little over three months, my life had been transformed from a civilian to a military doctor in full uniform,” Dr. Donadio recalls. “Here I am (left) surrounded by my lovely, small children; they did not know that we would be 8,600 miles apart for one year. They would be safe with their Mom in a small town, and I would be in a foreign land wearing an identification tag around my neck.” The author's faith also helped him during his time in Vietnam, and he was honored to serve as Francis Joseph Cardinal Spellman’s attending physician during the Cardinal’s Christmas 1966 tour of the combat zone. Dr. Donadio’s memoirs include both his recollections of these experiences and a vast assembly of documentary sources.