4 stories from the doctor of 'Island Practice'

Nantucket turns to Dr. Timothy Lepore for a wide-range of needs. Here are four of the more unusual stories included in "Island Practice," Pam Belluck's book about Lepore.

2. Using a glass scalpel

A group participates in a nature walk on Nantucket Ben Garvin

One of Lepore's interests is flint knapping, or creating tools out of stone as was done during the Paleolithic era. At one point, he created a scalpel out of obsidian, which is glass from a volcano. He used it on some patients with their permission, but was forced to discontinue the use when it was discovered that the method of sterilization that was being used for the scalpel, a gas called ethylene oxide, could be harmful to people.

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About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

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