Name: Ira Rutkow, MD, PhD

Specialty: General Surgeon and Medical Historian

Location: New York City, NY

Today we’re exploring the history of surgery; taking a speedy but deliberate journey from prehistoric brain surgery to our modern high tech operating suites. As Rudyard Kipling once pointed out, “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” And this episode is all about the stories. Stories about heroes, risk takers and the gruesome reality that preceded all the medical and surgical advances we take for granted today. We’re joined by general surgeon and medical historian, Dr. Ira Rutkow. Ira is the author of eight books including his most recent, Empire of the Scalpel, which we’ll be covering today. This episode was a blast (especially for two guys like us who used to spend a lot of time together in the OR). We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did. With that said, let’s get started…

Links & Resources:

Profile: Ira M. Rutkow, MD, PhD ’81, MPH ’78 | Johns Hopkins | Bloomberg School of Public Health (

Book: Empire of the Scalpel | Book by Ira Rutkow | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster (

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