Where There is No Doctor a Village Health Care Book: Weekly product review

where there is no doctor
Some reviews are simple to write, some are difficult. This is one of the simple ones, firstly I need to tell you that I purchased this book with the intention of adding to my library of medical knowledge. I did not receive it for free or in exchange for anything.

Some purchases can be seen through hindsight with eyes tinged with regret. This is one of those purchases. I purchased this book on Amazon for $27 including shipping. On the cover of the book and in the description it is promoted for the “villager/ pharmacist/ storekeeper/ teacher/ health worker/ mothers and midwives who live far from medical centers.”

Unfortunately, there are maybe only half the pages of the 445-page book that have applicable medical knowledge.

In fairness, there are several subjects broached that are extremely necessary for sub-third world nations or areas filled with people who believe using lollipops that have been dipped in open sores is a good approach for reducing potential chicken pox/ smallpox and other viral infections.

My real issues with this tome are how it was written and the language used most frequently which shows a disproportionate level of reliance on socialist life approaches. It should be noted that I do not see any government outside of self-governance or at most tribal approaches as a beneficial approach.

If the book had shown a disproportionate amount of “democratic/republican” leaning it would have received the same response from myself. I find that many items of interest in the book I agree with. Such as the statement, “if you can use what is best in modern medicine with what is best in traditional healing you are often better than using either alone” (quoting from memory so it may be a bit off).

Additionally, the insistence that we share knowledge eg., medical in nature adds to the potential that the book begins with. Where I believe it falls apart is its insistence on poor health being a direct result of an unfair distribution of land and wealth. While I am someone who lives daily in a system where my poverty is ignored by most others due to my being born “privileged” as a white male, even though I was also born with debilitating spinal conditions and even though I worked for decades with spinal conditions.

I still firmly believe that to better ourselves and our world we should instead focus on solutions which I promote individually through my writing reviews without charge and other one on one actions I take regularly without charge or profit personally. I share my extensive knowledge with people regularly and do so basically free of charge. This does not mean I am a socialist, communist nor does my rejection of these institutions and definitions mean I am a capitalist or otherwise. Rather it means I am a self-determining individual and this is my choice.

Additional direct critiques of the book are the use of imagery to associate firearms with deadly medicinal uses. (page w18) or (page 49). Additionally, they do not address the use of beneficial approaches such as the assessment of and stoppage of serious bleeds on extremities. (eg., use of tourniquet and or use of alternatives for a tourniquet when needed.) Instead, they chose to apply antiquated medical science to these issues. (page 90-91) and while it is not terrible, it is not in the best interests of anyone to follow outdated medical science when better-proven alternatives exist.

On page 116 the authors recommend avoiding meats and instead of growing a mixture of vegetables and groundnuts because animal-based food is ‘more expensive and less nutritious” than these grains, vegetables and nuts. In the very next paragraph, the author states the importance of raising chickens for food. There is an extreme cognitive dissonance with the authors given their supposed hands-on experience with villages in Mexico in the 90s’, I find their experience to be lacking especially in this area.

Unlike first world nations where the editor originated food is not often purchased from Walmart or Publix and is in fact raised, hunted, or otherwise gathered for the poorer individuals. While some nations have become completely dependent on foreign aid, eg., welfare states like Haiti, Nigeria et., al, there are many many others that still have a sense of self-ownership and desire to do for themselves. There are several dozen other minor and major issues I recognized and I am not a doctor or even nurse.

It should be noted further that there are many very good ideas and approaches noted within the book. Some of the wonderful ideas are regarding clean living, specifically avoiding mixing ones pets or food animals with ones home life, (something we Americans are sadly repeating with our current legislation supporting animals in eating establishments). I should note that it is the overall approach promoted sometimes subtly and other times overtly that drives me to say this is not, in fact, a beneficial book for the homesteader.

I do not, however, believe these outweigh the issues within the book and if the authors or editors happen to read this article would gladly assist with editing future editions at little or no cost simply to help others in the future.

My final recommendation for this is simple. Save your money and purchase one of the other fine medical books available. Several which I have reviewed in the past and some which I will be reviewing soon here. If you have questions or suggestions please make them below. I cannot learn without knowledge from others and through self-reflection.

Note: You can download this book and others for free here.


Free the mind and the body will follow…

Jesse Mathewson

Arizona since 86', lifetime prepper, camper - criminal justice advanced degrees, numerous certifications, 1+ million rounds (shooting for decades), prior contractor, instructor, current volunteer, disabled, honest, father of two husband of one - all budget and prepared. Jesse Mathewson reviews because regular people need someone in their corner as well!

23 Responses

  1. Greg M. says:

    Jesse, thank you again for a good review. I had this book on my “to purchase” list, plainly it won’t remain there. Glad that you did this review, it saved me some money.

  2. wasp says:

    jesse,
    too late got it before surgery 2 years ago but haven’t opened it.
    thanks for review, will make notes in my copy.
    this review should help young people who have little experience.
    looking forward to other reviews.
    would like a few really good understandable books.
    thanks again

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Wasp, I will be putting together some reviews of my favorites and others that are solid good information within reason

  3. Jeff says:

    WHERE THERE IS NO DENTIST also lacked.

    Thanks

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Jeff, most likely I know for myself I cannot put money into a series where even one book is not complete enough/for what it says it does

  4. Docj says:

    Thanks Jesse, for a honest approach to a review. I agree that some reviews can be very difficult. A job well done.

  5. Cndnate says:

    Agree on everything you have mentioned jesse , I still have it taking up space.

    As well it is clear on the language on ‘reproductive health’ etc the socialist population control perspective the writers had. I found it to be very glaring oversite that natural family planning was only given a cursuary mention as unreliable. Modern natural family planning is not the ‘rhythem’ method. It has been studied and is proven robust on paper and I can tell you personally that it is robust… works and requires no additional moving parts (other than those god gave you to start with)

    If anyone wants to know more please speak up and I will post links.

  6. Grammyprepper says:

    Very interesting…some folks speak so highly of this series of books. Glad to see your review, I will save myself the money, as I trust your judgment, Jesse.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      I was quite disappointed and as MD points out you can get them digitally freely available as well just to check out the good that they have (they do have some good) simply for me not enough to include in my chest of MUST have books

  7. Jeanine Anderson says:

    I think I downloaded these at some stage, can’t remember but have not read them. Definitely I think aimed at 3rd world countries. I downloaded a good medical book (I think so) called “The Survival Medical Handbook (A guide for when medical help is NOT on the way.) by Joseph Alton, M.D and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. I also found a great download book called :”How to survive a world without antibiotics” – Keith Scott-Mumby, MD. I have them in PDF format. If anyone would like a copy, I can let you have it through DropBox – but will need your email address. Happy to share, times are going to get a lot tougher.

    • Jesse Mathewson says:

      Jeanine thank you !

    • Jeanine Anderson ,

      I think I downloaded these at some stage, can’t remember but have not read them. Definitely I think aimed at 3rd world countries.

      I have them all and they are at least a good reference: Here’s what I have in pdf format:
      • Where There Is No Dentist
      • Safe Handling of Health Care Waste
      • Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment
      • Water for life
      • A Book for Midwives 2010
      • Where Women Have No Doctor 2010
      • A Community Guide to Environmental Health
      • Where there is no Doctor – 2010 Revised
      I also have: Where there is no Dentist – 2010 Revised in 12 parts plus
      Front Cover &
      Back Matter – Appendices, Vocabulary, Index
      A search for:
      “where there is no doctor” pdf will locate most of them.

      I downloaded a good medical book (I think so) called “The Survival Medical Handbook (A guide for when medical help is NOT on the way.) by Joseph Alton, M.D and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P

      I already have this one and it’s pretty good. The authors are also known as Doctor Bones & Nurse Amy and have a website: https://www.doomandbloom.net/

      . I also found a great download book called :”How to survive a world without antibiotics” – Keith Scott-Mumby, MD. I have them in PDF format. If anyone would like a copy, I can let you have it through DropBox – but will need your email address. Happy to share, times are going to get a lot tougher.

      A quick search for this one finds it also available as a free pdf download; but, once again I already have it since I’ve been downloading and saving reports and books on preparedness for more than 20 years.

  8. Livinthedream says:

    I, too, have an extensive library of “real” books, including all that u mention here.

    IMO, the ONLY book one needs is Doom & Bloom’s “The Survival Medicine Handbook”. The newest edition recommended. Buy from their site & Amy will sign it! $37.00 + $3 shipping.

    “When There is No Dentist” MIGHT be somewhat useful, but, just barely. In trying to gather useful info for dental care when there is no dentist, I found available info sadly lacking.

    If u can get past all the paganism & “ask ur plants first”, the “Altermatives to Dentists” CD promoted by Marjory Wildcraft (a Wiccan name) promotes horsetail as healing to teeth. What they don’t say is that Horsetail is a HIGHLY invasive species that will choke out everything in its path. If u grow it, keep it in a container.

    I am currently growing a floral plant, Spilanthes”, a.k.a., “toothache plant”. Look it up. Got sred from Baker Creek (raresrefs dot com,,).