Amateur Surgery

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Amateur Surgery is a hurt/comfort trope, seemingly more common in gen fiction. It is used when one character, who is not a doctor, has to perform a life-saving surgical procedure on another character. A variation has him or her assisting in a primitive field surgery.

Story Examples

The Sentinel

Bitterwood Creek[1] by Arianna, Jim operates on Blair: "Mopping up the blood that had pooled inside Blair's body, he then reached in with his right hand, delicately tracing the path of the bullet after it had smashed through Blair's spleen, his eyes pressed closed in concentration. He found the chunk of lead flattened against Sandburg's spine, and swallowed at how close the kid had come to being crippled for life. Shaking, he drew the bit of metal out of Blair's body and flung it furiously across the room."

Once a Medic[2] by Jess Riley, Jim removes Blair's appendix: "The first incision was the hardest cut Jim had ever had to make. The wound and the amount of blood seeping from it may have been minuscule compared to some of the injuries he'd seen over the years, but not one of those injuries came anywhere close to stacking up to the horror of this one. This was Blair's skin he was cutting and it was Blair's blood that was flowing. Causing harm to Blair went against every instinctual fiber of his being."

Starsky and Hutch

Favored Son by KateCMT, Hutch assists his father as Grant Hutchinson cuts a bullet out of Starsky: "Brusquely he busied himself, filling empty coconut shells with water. 'When you’re ready, I’ll secure his arms around the base of the tree. That’ll keep him from moving . . .' His voice trailed into a whisper. 'While you operate.'... Hutch swallowed hard, his heart thumping in his chest. His father had done a crude sterilization procedure on the knife using his cigar lighter. Bandages were laid on Starsky’s jacket to keep them off the ground, and a few makeshift urns of water were near at hand. Grant had also put together some poultices comprised of moss and a webbing of plants he claimed had medicinal properties."'


  1. ^ "Bitterwood Creek Part 1". 2013-06-20. Archived from the original on 2013-06-20. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Bitterwood Creek Part 2 on Wayback Machine
  2. ^ "Once A Medic by Jess Riley". 2021-09-11. Archived from the original on 2021-09-11.