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The surgeons' heads seemed small next to the huge dome-shaped lights. Together heads and lights zoomed in on this sick heart, which looked like a wiggly red ball of flesh. Gloved fingers felt and searched for new possibilities.

All of a sudden there was an undeniable knowing that someday I would be a member of such a team and stand at the head of the patient to guard his or her life…

Bold and brilliant, Behind the Ether Screen shares the true story of Gabriele F. Roden, a woman whose attempt to break free from a childhood of relentless expectations of performance and perfection, instead ended up choosing a career with similar challenges that resulted in great successes.

Born in post-war Germany, Roden was raised with rigorous discipline and motivation to choose a career based on humanitarian principles that would outlast the demolished, chaotic surroundings of her home. But it was a pivotal move to Ireland in her teens and her enrollment at University College Cork that launched her career in medicine.

Her early drive to excel in the specialty of anesthesiology brought her to the United States of America as a young graduate. She completed her internship in Worcester, MA, pursued her anesthesia residency at Yale University, and after a few years in private practice at a community hospital, she returned to academic medicine in Boston.

Spanning a career of more than thirty-seven years, Dr. Roden’s moving account offers insight into the behind-the-scenes struggles and rewards of her specialty.

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