school of the University of Sarajevo sincern1989 and the head of the department ofrnreconstructive and plastic surgery sincern1978. I have also established an internationalrnreputation as a skilled plasticrnsurgeon, specializing in the field of microscopicrnsurgery, most specifically onrntrauma to the hands. I have never beenrnable to distinguish a difference betweenrnthe hands of a Serb, a Croat, or a Muslimrnthrough my microscope. The difference,rnif it exists, has never mattered to me,rnand it still doesn’t. 0’er the years I hacrnoperated on a member of almost evervrnsingle family in Sarajevo. 1 consideredrnSarajevo to be the ideal horrre. Not outrnof ignorance, since I have traveled extensivelvrnin both the East and the West.rnBut it was cosmopolitan, cultured, andrnfriendly.rnThe first act of terrorism came as arnreferendum vote on secession from Yugoslarnia was being tallied oir March 1,rn1992. Three snipers opened fire on thernwedding party of a Serbian couple at thernBasearsija Orthodox Church, killingrnNikola Gardovic, the father of therngroom. They then proceeded to burnrnthe flag of the church, which had beenrnunfurled for the festivities. Two of thernkillers were later positively iderrtificd asrnCroats, one a Muslim. The latter becamernone of the most infamous banditsrnin Sarajevo. lie ended up in our hospital,rnwhere he was treated surgicalK- for arnhand injury—just one of the little ironiesrnof civil war. ‘I’hat single act of mindlessrnviolence unlocked the gates of hell. Thernbarricades went up between ethnic enclaves,rnand Sarajevo became a citv underrnsiege.rnMy personal hell did not begin until arnmonth later, when on April 6, as I wasrnleaving m home for my ead- rounds atrnthe hospital, I was struck in the shoulderrnand in the back of the head by two bullets.rnThey were fired at me by a 2’5-vearoldrnMuslim neighbor, a newcomer tornthe area, who shot me because I am arnSerb—a fact I had almost forgotten. Irnbecame the first wounded person to berntreated in my department in my ownrnhospital. The wounds were painful butrnnot so serious as to prevent me from beingrntransformed from patient back tornpracticing surgeon after several weeks ofrnhealing. But I did have time to ponderrnthe motivation that would trigger thernattempted assassination of a surgeon whornhas devoted over 25 years to the healingrnof the sick in this erv city. I felt that Irnhad given m life to these people andrnA Little^y for Cdiifessionalisnirnby Kntlicrinc McAlpinernThe paeans to psychosis;rnthfodc”- (OIHKK parts,rndinree-!, ovcrcloM-s,rnand “clung is an art”—-rnthank (IIHI, it’s linally died,rnI his cult ot self-disclosure,rneoininiltefl suicidernalong w nil its composers.rnthat my reward was two bullets.rnThat transformation also took mernfrom my specialty of microscopic handrnsurgery to my new field of combatrnsurgery. For the next 15 months the hospitalrnbecame m’ home—and my hell.rnThe supply of battered, bloodied bodiesrnseemed endless; the pain and sufferingrnbeyond comprehension. I am not arnyoung man. I was born in 1940, at thernoutbreak of Worid War II. Those 15rnmonths aged me 15 years. I finally escapedrnto Serbia, but m’ health was de-rnastated and my spirit broken.rnLet me explain a little about the brokenrnspirit. Our hospital staff representedrnall three major ethnic groups, as did ourrnpatients. We never treated anv patientrndifferently, regardless of ethnic label: soldier,rncivilian, or child. In the hospital allrnwere ailing Yugoslavs, human beings sufferingrnand dying.rnOccasionally, we did get the opportunityrnto watch the television news reportsrnemanating from the United States andrnGreat Britain. It was difficult to believernthey were covering the same war thatrnwe were experiencing. We Serbs, defendingrnour homes from looters andrnpillagers, were vilified as inading aggressors.rnI was shot outside my ownrnhome, on the yvav to work. Invader?rnAggressor?rnI treated the victims of the notoriousrn”Breadline Massacre” that was reportedrnon Western TV as an artiller or mortarrnattack on civilians who were standing inrnline for bread: an attack bv Serbian forcesrnat just the moment that the only two professionalrnTV cameras in the city were onrnhand to film the explosions. I found itrnvery odd that there were no lacerationsrnor puncture wounds on am of the ‘ictims.rnNeither were there anv head orrnchest wounds, only trauma to the lowerrnextremities. The wounds were obviouslyrnnot caused by artillery shells; they werernthe result of prcplanted demolitionrncharges placed bv Bosnian Muslimrnforces, triggered for the benefit of the TVrncameras. For further proof, the surfacernof the “attack” area evidenced no starshapedrnshell holes, which arc typical ofrnsuch explosions. Instead, there were twornconcentric circular holes that are nowrncovered with flowers, in memory ofrnthe x’ictims of their Muslim “friends.”rnSeveral Muslim families were evacuatedrnfrom their homes in the immediate arearnof the “attack” just prior to the mediarnevent. Coincidence? The llnited Nationsrnhas proof of this diabolic warrn38/CHRONICLESrnrnrn