What Health Care Looked Like: The Challenges of a Rural Physician

More

Previously unpublished photos shot by LIFE magazine's W. Eugene Smith after shadowing a general practitioner for more than three weeks.

LIFEDoctor-Post.jpg

In 1948, LIFE magazine photographer W. Eugene Smith spent more than three weeks in Kremmling, Colorado, shadowing general practitioner Ernest Ceriani as he worked with patients on all manner of ailments. The resulting images -- powerful and poignant -- became an instant classic, and Smith was quickly anointed one of the masters of the photoessay. For the first time ever, thanks to Smith's work, many viewers were given an intimate look at the emotional and physical challenges faced by rural physicians on a daily basis.

Earlier today, LIFE magazine made some of Smith's previous unpublished photos available. (During his time with Ceriani, Smith shot so many images that most were tossed to the cutting-room floor when the series, "Country Doctor," was being assembled.) 

Jump to comments
Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

What Is the Greatest Story Ever Told?

A panel of storytellers share their favorite tales, from the Bible to Charlotte's Web.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in Health

Just In