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Norman Bethune
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    (March 3, 1890-November 12, 1939)
    Born in Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada
    Birth name was Henry Norman Bethune
    Thoracic surgeon
    Known for his service with wartime medical units during the Spanish Civil War and Sino-Japanese War
    He said he grew up with a 'fear of being mediocre.'
    He became a committed Communist following a trip to the Soviet Union (1935).
    He died of septacemia (blood poisoning) after cutting his finger during an operation.
    Although he has been a hero in China since his death, he was largely unknown in his native Canada until the 1970s.
    He was wounded by shrapnel while serving as a stretcher bearer in World War I.
    He designed dozens of surgical instruments, including Bethune Rib Shears, which are still in use.
    He established the first mobile medical unit to perform blood transfusions on the battlefield.
    China's highest medical honor is named the Norman Bethune Medal.

Credit: C. Fishel

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