The man depicted in portrait form and as the main character on the stamps issued by China in 1960 was a Canadian physician, medical innovator, and noted communist. He became expert in thoracic surgery and developed or modified more than a dozen new surgical tools.
Norman Bethune achieved acclaim first for his service as a frontline surgeon supporting the democratically elected Republican government during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). But it was his service in China with the Communist Eighth Route Army during China’s second war with Japan (1937-1945) that would earn him enduring gratitude.
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Advances in the field of medical surgery have been dramatic and it´s possible that some philatelists find the subject interesting to collect. My father´s life was extended by many years as a result of two open heart operations. An amazing coincidence was that the surgeon who carried out the second operation had the same name as my father. He even gave me an impromptu tour of the operating theatre the day before the operation and explained the use of the various tools and instruments laid out awaiting his skilled hands.
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