A Look at the Book “Operational Physicians-2”

Biography, Memories and Viewpoints of Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari, Professor and Specialist in Anesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and Pain

Fereydoon Heidari Molk-Mian
Translated by Ruhollah Golmoradi


In the book “Field Physicians 2”, after acknowledgement, we first come to a short text written by Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari, and on the next page to a photograph, as it is stated under the photo, taken with Professor Majid Samii in the operating room (Germany, Hannover). After that the content, the editor's introduction, and then “Biography at a Glance” which is a six-page summary of the book text, are presented. The text consists of eleven chapters, and each chapter begins with a short foreword and continues with questions and answers. Moreover, title of the chapters also consists of two parts, the first part generally addresses a specific period or situation of the doctor Attari’s life, and the second part refers to his most important characteristic or function. At the end of the book, as usual, glossary, reference list, and albums of photos are included.


Chapter 1

Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari recalls his memories of his birthday, when he was born in a large family in Tabas on August 19, 1956. His parents try to provide a middle life for themselves and their children with minimal amenities.

Dr. Attari still remembers when he entered elementary school, he studied well and wrote his homework regularly; however, once he was slapped by a teacher, and because he immediately told his parents about it, the teacher called him "Mr. Sensitive" from then on.


Chapter 2

During high school, in a healthy and grueling competitive environment with a number of classmates, his daily plan is to study from morning to midnight under a street light at the top of the alley to the pleasant shadow of palm in the thirsty desert. In the fifth year of high school, he also holds a record of 65 hours of study without one minute sleeping for a chemistry exam during the education period. His strong memory and hardworking makes him one of the top students in Tabas.


Chapter 3

He is a sensitive and idealistic young man seeking top rank and being accepted in medicine. When he follows the results of Konkur (entrance exam) in the newspaper in 1974 and sees the phrase "Attari, Mohammad Ali, Medicine in Isfahan University", he would be certain that his years of hard work have come to fruition. he runs a long way to home to proudly announce his family that another physician has been added to the genealogy of Haj Zein al-Abidin Attar and Shaykh al-Hokama (Shaykh of the Ulama) of old physicians.


Chapter 4

At the same time that he is a medical student at one of the best universities in the country, the debate over the revolution has got intense as much as that sixty percent of his attention is upon political issues and 40 percent to education, and as it gets closer to 1978, protests and demonstrations increase. Mountaineering groups are formed of revolutionary students in order to be a place for exchanging ideas, coordination, and transferring of announcements and books to each other. Once, he was pursued and arrested by SAVAK and imprisoned for several days. In the same period, on the verge the Revolution, revolutionary and religious discussions provided the excuse for his acquaintance and marriage with Sedigheh Soheilipour, an English language student at the University of Isfahan and a member of a family active in revolutionary affairs.


Chapter 5

Mohammad Ali and Sedigheh eventually begin their simple life simplicity with a minimum student income at a rental house. They go to Tabas for honeymoon, but the final days of the first half of 1978 become the bitterest days of life for them and millions of Iranians. Tabas' earthquake kills tens of thousands of people including two members of Mohammad Ali's family. With a number of his collegemates who have come to Tabas following the incident, he assisted the injured and survivors.


Chapter 6

With the victory of the Islamic Revolution, revolutionary and value conditions arose. In his final years at the university, he left home and education and went to the impassable mountains and valleys to participate in the health and medical activities of Jihad-e Sazandegi (Jihad of Construcion) in the deprived areas of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari; but in the middle of 1980, the country entered a new crisis and he went to high-risk and under siege areas of Abadan and Mahshahr almost from the beginning of the imposed war to participate in the evacuation and rescue of the injured. In 1981, after graduation, instead of military service, he was sent to do medical services in deprived and war areas of Ilam province.


Chapter 7

In 1982, he was appointed as head of Isfahan Health Network. From now on, he went to the fronts both as director general of the province's dispensary and for visiting and providing relief, remedial and medical equipment needs of the front, and, as well as, as field physician and member of emergency teams for treatment of the injured in the emergency departments and field hospitals in the south and west of the. With the establishment of the Joint Staff of relief and treatment, he become a member of the staff and was always ready to deploy to the operational areas. He was frequently deployed in cities of border regions of Kurdistan and continues to save fighters despite the risk of counter-revolutionary insecurities and infiltrators, as well as the danger of heavy Iraqi fire from the air and the ground.


Chapter 8

After participating in the specialty test and obtaining the passing grade, due to the war conditions and necessary needs of the country on November 4, 1984, he started to work as anesthesiology resident and in the same post tries to save lives of the injured in the operating rooms of field hospitals. He flies with giant aircrafts in high-risk air zones, and passes hard risks in emergency rooms and field hospitals where there is a possibility of captivity or martyrdom at any moment. In Operation Karbala-4, during a nearly thirty-six hours in seven operating rooms, he anesthetizes a group of wounded people so that general surgeons, neurosurgeon, cardiologist and orthopedic surgeons try to save guys of their homeland, and even treat the wounded Iraqis for the sake of humanity and morality.


Chapter 9

Very soon, he alone took responsibility for the anesthesia of the operating room of the teaching hospital during shift hours with the remote supervision of his professors. His sense of anesthesia comes from citing divine verses of the Holy Qur'an. This feeling, he believes, is a sense of giving and saving lives; a sense of temporary death and resurgence, and there may be a connection between anesthesia and metaphysics that he himself has understood many times. The tense and worrying risks of anesthesia of patients and the use of modern anesthesia techniques to the extent that the five senses and even temporarily disable the patient breathing and only their heart beat were his 24/7 activities, as these activities were interwoven with his flesh and soul. Thus, since December 1987, Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari's name has been mentioned as an anesthesiologist.


Chapter 10

Dr. Attari refers to the specialized topics of relief and treatment of the war wounded, and believes these issues have not been received serious attention either during or after the Holy Defense. He recalls that from the first congress related to chemical injured he pursued its specialized meetings diligently, and he is now interested in collecting and analyzing the medical documents database of that time so that it can be used to provide reference texts for combat dispensary, threats and opportunities for posterity; especially, perhaps, in future wars of the international system chemical, microbial, and radioactive hazards may also be raised.


Chapter 11

In this chapter, Dr. Mohammad Ali Attari narrates from his membership in the faculty of the university and professor of anesthesiology department to the director general of dispensary, from research deputy to membership in the faculty of the anesthesiology board of the country, as well as from completing his scientific and research progress stages to participate in domestic and foreign scientific conferences from Asia to Europe and the United States, and establishing the first ICU in hospitals of Isfahan and the establishment of advanced medical centers such as the first oxygen therapy center. Thus, he describes progress of his career to represent 20 hours of work per day over more than half a century of his career.


But the last word!

The book "Operational Physicians-2" has special graphics (cover design, layout and printing) among books related to the memoirs of the Iran-Iraq War. In the main body of the text, the book is composed of coated paper, and glossy paper is used in the color part of the album of photos. However, although even the editor's name is mentioned in the book's copyright page, may be there not have been a detailed final readout of the text before publication, which unfortunately, due to this negligence, there are some errata in different pages of the text, and in addition, it can sometimes be seen in the short description of the photos. Here, of course, it is not enough time and space to mention all or part of those errata, and we only mention three clear examples:

Caption on page 160: “Kualumpur ((کوالامپور” instead of “Kuala Lumpur (کوالالامپور)”

Caption on Page 162: “سحرانشین” instead of “صحرانشین (nomad)”

Caption on page 181: “اکثیژن” instead of “اکسیژن (oxygen)”

Thus, in addition to the appearance of books of this kind, it is worthy to show accuracy and sensitivity to the objective content and type of arrangement of letters and words, and present the result to the audience in its desired and appropriate way.

Morteza Massah has conducted interviews, research and writing “Operational Physicians-2”. The first edition of the book was published by Darkhovin Publications (Isfahan), in 184 illustrated pages (color, black and white) and in 1000 copies with the price of 320,000 Rial in the regular volume and medium octavo in summer 2019.  


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