Book Review: All Bleeding Stops


All Bleeding Stops, Dr. Michael J. Collins, M.D. ISBN: 978-1-5255-9839-5 (Hardcover) ISBN: 978-1-5255-9838-8 (Paperback)  ISBN: 978-1-5255-9840-1 (eBook), FriesenPress.

Readers will be taken to the Vietnam War to follow the struggle of a young doctor who is struggling to adjust to a violent medical environment.

What does a doctor do when he thinks his best is not good enough? Matthew Barrett, thirty-one years old and fresh out of residency, is drafted and sent to Vietnam as a combat surgeon in 1967 at the height of the Vietnam War. Compassionate and sensitive to a fault, he is determined to make a difference but quickly finds his idealism crushed by the pain, suffering, and indifference that surround him. Shamed by his inexperience and tormented by his failures, he slowly unravels. Only the love of Therese Hopkins, a nurse, keeps him from falling apart. But will their love survive the grinding horror of war?

The author says, “a generation of young men went to Vietnam naïve and idealistic.” “They returned home broken and disillusioned—if they returned at all.”

Matthew’s journey of redemption takes him from combat surgeon in Vietnam to transplant doctor in Ohio and, finally, to physician in a relief camp in Biafra, exploring how the caring and compassion that draws young people to pursue the healing arts can also sow the seeds of their own destruction, and how love may be the only thing that can finally make all bleeding stop.

A portion of the proceeds from the book will go to qualified entities supporting mental health in the military and medical fields, such as PB Abbate and the PTSD Foundation.

About the author: Dr. Michael Collins spent several years working as a construction laborer, truck driver, cab driver, and dockworker, trying to get into medical school.  After contemplating his residency at the Mayo Clinic, where he served as a Chief Resident in Orthopedic Surgery, Dr. Collins and his wife moved back to Chicago where they, and most of their now-grown twelve children, still live.  He has lectured extensively on topics relating to medicine and writing.  In writing this book, he hopes to raise awareness of the difficulty doctors face in learning to care—without caring too much. The very qualities—compassion, sensitivity, dedication—that often lead people to a career in medicine, often make it difficult for them to reconcile their ideals with the cold, hard reality of morbidity and mortality: conditions no amount of caring can ever change.

Collins is also the author of Hot Lights, Cold Steel and Blue Collar: Blue Scrubs. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine.


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  1. It’s been a while since book reviews from Carol and I really look forward to them. The two today look outstanding. Thank you, Carol.

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