Paul Pitlyk “graduated from St. Louis University School of Medicine where he then left for Rochester, Minn. to participate
in the five-year program studying neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic. After operating in a private practice in Milwaukee, Wis., he
joined the U.S. Navy where he was sent to Vietnam for one year as a neurosurgeon for wounded marines during the war. Upon
his return, Pitlyk was assigned to work in the Naval Hospital in San Diego. He then returned to private practice for 40 years.
Currently retired, Pitlyk is married with two children and lives in San Francisco Bay area.” Dr.
Paul Pitlyk is the author of Blood on China Beach: My Story as a Brain Surgeon in Vietnam.
to the book description of Blood on China Beach: My Story as a Brain Surgeon in Vietnam, “More
than once during his yearlong duty, thirty-two-year-old Dr. James J. Paul wondered what had possessed him to leave the security
of a neurosurgery practice in the Midwest to experience the blood, guts, and gore of brain surgery at a forward marine hospital
during the Vietnam War. In Blood on China Beach, Paul, a neurosurgeon from the Mayo Clinic, shares the story of how he learned
his craft in a rudimentary hospital in Vietnam, twelve thousand miles from home. This memoir picks up where most Vietnam battlefield
memoirs leave off-when the choppers deliver the dead and gravely wounded to the field hospitals and the dedicated doctors
and medical staff struggle under primitive and unsterile conditions to preserve life. In this environment, Paul was charged
with carrying out emergency neurosurgery on those soldiers sustaining head injuries. He details both the emotional and professional
factors that played a role in his service and provides a unique perspective to the Vietnam War. Insightful and historically
significant, Blood on China Beach shows Paul's reverence for life and his admiration for the bravery of the marines he operated
on, even as he questioned his own ability to make a difference. This memoir shows Paul's evolution from child to man and from
neophyte to surgeon.”