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In 1955 four young men bond over a cadaver in an anatomy class while doing their medical training, and then take off in different directions.
Alastair ends up as a GP in rural Scotland and is involved in the first antismoking campaign, the prescription of the contraceptive pill, the distribution of the oral vaccine for poliomyelitis, and screening for cervical cancer.
Dylan, the son of a coal miner in south Wales, ends up as an epidemiologist and contributes to the discovery of the links of coal dust to lung and stomach cancer amongst coal miners. He is also present at the Aberfan disaster.
Matthew trains as a psychiatrist at the pivotal time when Freudian psychoanalysis is being replaced by rational rather than metaphysical concepts. Huge asylums for the insane are being closed and cruel and futile therapies are being abandoned.
Peter trains as a surgeon and is involved in the early days of organ transplantation and contributes to the movement to replace radical mastectomy with kinder treatments, for women with early breast cancer.
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