Sagebrush Surgeon

by Florence Crannell Means

Meaningful Life-long Service

5.0 rating
January 25, 2021

I had never heard of the Salsbury couple before, but I was very impressed with the work they did to help lift the Navajo nation. I was moved by their life-long service, and there was even a tragic part in the story that made me cry. What an inspiring true story!

Ann M.

Beautiful Story

5.0 rating
October 30, 2020

This is an inspiring and beautiful story of serving and loving. What an incredible couple the Salsbury’s were! They faced obstacles but always continued moving forward with faith in sharing light and healing.

Lezlie-Anne I


5.0 rating
October 5, 2020

Sagebrush Surgeon is a wonderfully inspiring story of a doctor and his wife who dedicate their adult lives to serving the Navajo people. They are the epitome of the true missionary people. They fully immerse themselves into their work to help the native people, not just spiritually but physically, emotionally, and socially. They truly wanted to help the whole person of each individually with which they came into contact.

Linda L

Heart warming!

5.0 rating
April 12, 2020

Beautiful true story about a man and his wife who devote their lives to serving the Navajo people. They build schools, help them with medical problems & more. They lived there for 40 years and never stopped serving. Such a heart warming story.

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Level 11

The young doctor washed his hands over and over, stuck them into the sterilized gloves, and held them stiffly before him while the nurse tied the surgeon’s gown across his broad back. The girl who lay waiting on the operating table was his first Navajo surgical patient. Her family, sitting on the hall floor, were pioneers in the unknown. 

When Dr. Clarence Salsbury, his wife, and their son move to the Navajo reservation as medical missionaries, they are faced with seemingly insurmountable challenges. The Salsburys quickly discover that they must not only work to construct a hospital, provide irrigation, and train Navajo nurses, but also overcome other obstacles such as isolation and cultural differences. Before they know it, what was intended to be a two-year mission turns into the work of a lifetime.

Faced with the daunting tasks ahead, the Salsbury family seeks the help of other missionaries, translators, and the Navajo People to realize their dream of bringing Christianity and modern medicine to the Navajo Nation.

126 pages

This book is integrated with the High School 2 Language Arts course.

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