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"Lyrical, inspirational and altogether rewarding"

 -Tom Brokaw, author of The Greatest Generation

A Surgeon in the Village

Tony Bartelme's new book tells the uplifting true story of Dr. Dilan Ellegala's quest to teach brain surgery in one of the poorest and most remote places on earth.

Part love story, part global health investigation, A Surgeon in the Village is a vivid lesson in the power of teaching and discovery. In hardcover by Beacon Press.

"A harrowing and important book."

  -The Washington Post

Featurned On NPR!

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What people are saying about A Surgeon in the Village.

"A highly inspirational story ..."

- Kirkus Reviews

"A Surgeon in the Village is an invigorating, uplifting and fast-paced new book by Tony Bartelme."

- Health Affairs

"Ellegala’s pioneering work reminds us that urgent global-health work isn’t limited to investing in preventable diseases."

-Philanthropy magazine

"Bartelme’s narrative is thoroughly researched and his delivery warm and accessible."

- The (Charleston, SC) Post and Courier

"Problem solving, improvising, and expressing compassion permeate this unusual and fascinating chronicle."

- Booklist

"A Surgeon in the Village turns the modern philanthropic paradigm on its head."

- Danielle Ofri, author of What Doctors Feel

"Bartelme’s masterful command of narration helps a book about surgery, administration, and a bit of international politics read like a novel."

-Myrtle Beach Sun-News

"Tony Bartelme deftly weaves history and current affairs into a powerful true story of redemption and hope."

- James M. Scott, 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Target Tokyo

"Exceptionally well written ... this is a book that every student and practitioner of global surgery will find enjoyable and inspiring."

- Haile T. Debas, founder of U.C. San Francisco Global Health Sciences

"Bartelme writes knowingly of the dedication of a valiant doctor determined to change how modern medicine interacts with the world."

- Publishers Weekly

"Beautifully told story"

- Dr. John Schumann, Public Radio-Tulsa (Listen to interview!)

"A Surgeon in the Village” is an excellent read, even to non-global health aficionados, and sheds much-needed light on a neglected area of global health."

- Global Health TV

Watch podcast with Brilliant Miller: 

   Tony Bartelme has earned journalism's highest honors for his  investigative reports, including awards from ASNE, AGU, Sigma Delta Chi and the Scripps, Gerald Loeb and National Press foundations. In 2021, Columbia Journalism School awarded him its prestigious John Chancellor Award for his body of work. He is a former Harvard Nieman Fellow and has been a finalist four times for the Pulitzer Prize.


Nov 12, 2018

What Tony Bartelme's new book, "A Surgeon in the Village," can teach you about medical missions and life

Oakland University Medical School

Presentation at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan.

Feb 25, 2019

A Surgeon in the Village

University of North Carolina-Pembroke

Tony will talk about A Surgeon in the Village and investigative journalism at a special presentation and reception at 6 p.m., Feb. 25.  For more details, visit here.


Apr 10, 2019

Why I investigated plankton, and why your very breath depends on what's happening with the stuff


Tony is one of TEXxCharleston's 2019 speakers. Event sold out!

Apr 14, 2019

What does plankton have to do with faith?

Presentation and homily to the Unitarian Church in Charleston

Tony talks about how scientific discoveries can lead to deeper spiritual understandings in a presentation and homily at the Unitarian Church in Charleston at 11 a.m.

Sep 14, 2019

University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Local climate reporting workshop

How to do local reporting on global environmental stories

Sep 16, 2019

Climate reporting workshop

ICN Southeast Network workshop

Regional climate reporting workshop.

Sep 26, 2019

Charleston County Public Library's Mount Pleasant branch 2:30 p.m.

Journalism hiding in plain sight

Tony Bartelme, senior projects reporter for The Post and Courier, will discuss how some of the world’s most pressing climate and health issues are hiding in plain sight. His book, A Surgeon in the Village, uses the story about a Charleston’s neurosurgeon’s quest to teach brain surgery in Africa as a vehicle about desperate shortage of doctors across the world. He’ll also discuss climate issues, such as what’s happening to ocean plankton,  the stuff that produces half of the oxygen on earth. 

Oct 14, 2019

A presentation to the Center for Creative Retirement

Every Other Breath: Plankton, the Gulf Stream and other hidden stories of climate change

Tony talks about his ground-breaking environmental stories at 1 p.m. at the College of Charleston's Center for Creative Retirement in North Charleston.

Feb 16, 2020

Southern Author Series at Historic Timrod Library

Tony Bartelme will talk about his investigative journalism and book, A Surgeon in the Village, during the Historic Timrod Library's Southern Author Series, Feb. 16, 2020, at 2 p.m.

Jun 30, 2020

Panel discussion with Michael Schmidt and Satish Nadig, moderated by Tony Bartelme

TEDxCharleston panel on the coronavirus

TEDxCharleston is sponsoring a Zoom panel discussion featuring Medical University of South Carolina experts Michael Schmidt and Satish Nadig.

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