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  • Writer's pictureBruce Campbell MD

Online Review of A Fullness of Uncertain Significance: Stories of Surgery, Clarity, & Grace

Here are reviews that appear as of today on NetGalley, an online book review site. Thanks to the reviewers.

“The awe of discovering the human body. The honor of being trusted to give advice. The gratitude for helping someone through a difficult illness. These things never grow old.”

― Danielle Ofri, MD via The New York Times

Dr Campbell started his long medical journey as an orderly at a local hospital during his downtime from college. His book “A Fullness of Uncertain Significance: Stories of Surgery, Clarity, & Grace” chronicles his passage through his personal life, school, and medicine. The book is a series of short vignettes chronically different aspects of his long career as a head and neck surgeon. Here, we witness his first exposure to surgery to his work in Africa (working alongside his son who, at the time, was a medical student) to his interactions with his patients. All his stories are driven by a sense of purpose, humility, and an understanding of what it is to be a doctor. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in the more personal aspects of medicine, especially between doctor and patient. Dr Campbell just recently retired from medicine, but not from writing and in fact, will be continuing his musings on his own website: I look forward to reading about what he thinks about retirement. I’ll bet it will be as interesting as his medical career.


I enjoyed the introspective snippets of the author’s emotional world. The writing is zen like, full of awareness, giving significance to moments. The author himself is a doctor with his heart in the right place. It was a pleasurable read.


I enjoy medical memoirs so much! This book consists of many short stories of different patients that surgeon Bruce H. Campbell has operated on. I found them all very interesting and I especially appreciated the compassion and care that Dr. Campbell has showed throughout his career.


This book was right up my alley. I love anything to do with nursing, patient doctor relationship, learning about medical illness but most of all compassion between nurse/doctor/surgeon and patient! I really enjoyed his stories from his nursing days to doctor/surgeon days that were so interesting, insightful and many times a bit humorous! Such a different book and one I really enjoyed! I highly recommend it!


Dr. Bruce Campbell’s book, A Fullness of Uncertain Significance, is receiving high praise from people in the medical profession, as well as writers and readers. This book is definitely one that should be included in any curriculum designed for surgeons. But we are all potential patients. Chances are that, at some point, someone in our family will place their life in the hands of a surgeon. We would all benefit from reading these “Stories of Surgery, Clarity, and Grace.” Contained within the pages of A Fullness of Uncertain Significance, are stories about life and death, success and failure, hope and more hope. Always hope. The narrative is written by a surgeon, but the stories are not about him. The stories are about how his patients face their treatment with grace and courage.


A wonderful book allowing the reader an inside look at patients from the doctor's point of view. This doctor happens to be one with a fantastic bedside manner who has an uncanny knack for being able to truly see his patients and find the one thing that allows him to connect. When families tend to take over, answering the doctor's questions, the doctor refocuses the appointment on the patient to get their story and in the process makes them feel important and in charge. Everyone should have a physician like this at lease once.


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