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  • The Combat Doctor

  • By: Dr Dan Pronk
  • Narrated by: Dr Dan Pronk
  • Length: 9 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (174 ratings)

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The Combat Doctor

By: Dr Dan Pronk
Narrated by: Dr Dan Pronk
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Publisher's Summary

'I had seen dozens of people die horrible deaths ... This time was different. This time it was a friend of mine dying in the dirt in front of me, and it was my job to save him.'

Dr Dan Pronk served on over 100 combat missions in Afghanistan as a frontline special forces combat doctor, where the casualties he treated were his fellow SAS soldiers and commandos, local civilians and even the enemy.

The thrill of adventure and the challenges of battlefield medicine brought out the very best in Dan; he discovered a sense of purpose in pushing his medical skills and courage to the limits. But there was a cost.

In this frank and vivid memoir, Dan describes the highs and lows of his military-medical career, and the very real toll they took on his mental health and family life. He writes movingly about the burden of saving - and failing to save - friends and comrades, the feelings of helplessness and despair that haunted him, and the journey back to a meaningful and fulfilling civilian life.

The Combat Doctor is an extraordinary story of resilience and growth, and a tribute to the doctors and medics working behind the scenes in conflict around the world.

©2022 Dr Dan Pronk (P)2022 Macmillan Australia Audio

Critic Reviews

"I love Dan's insight from his beginnings as an everyday guy, who pushes himself into operating in a very, very non-everyday environment. A fascinating account of what it is like to go into battle, and the unseen mental battles that arise from the experience. Honest and inspiring. I loved it." (Hamish Blake)

"Dr Pronk walks us to the very gates of hell and points to the nightmare that is modern warfare. The thrall of combat, the dread of buried mines, and the shattered bodies of his mates all feature in this parallel universe that was Australia's war in Afghanistan. This is not some well-worn trope of heroism in war—it brings to life the ghosts of Australia's best fighters: their grit, their humour, and their final moments. These fallen sons both haunted and inspired Dan to live a complete life. A searing story: unforgettable and important." (Mark Wales)

"Beyond the headlines, popular imagery and mythology of SAS and Commandos, are stories of duty and devotion to one another. The Combat Doctor is both a participant and an observer—of skill, courage, death and growth from the traumatic aftermath of war. Step out of your comfort zone, accept the challenge to a better person." (Dr Brendan Nelson)

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Raw and compelling

An honest raw account behind the veil of special forces within the Australian defence force of active service at the cutting edge of life and death on the battlefield. This author takes the reader in the journey from army brat to trials and challenges of combat in its intimacy to post service growth. A cracking book and well done to Dan Pronk

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Another brilliant read

Having read “The Resilience Shield” and it having changed my life this book did not disappoint. Thanks Dan, and thanks to all the brave warriors who served with you. I can’t convey my appreciation for your stories and perspectives.

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Insightful, I couldn't stop listening!

Loved it, so insightful and descriptive, I cried, I laughed, I cringed.
Thank you Dan Pronk for sharing your story and thank you and all your fellow servicemen and women for your service.

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A great insight into the modern battlefield doctor

A great story, very well written and most of all, very well narrated. I found myself wanting to hear more all throughout the book. This also provided me with more information on the heroes that served and sacrificed for our country

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Fantastic story

Really enjoyed the story…really important that Australians know the challenges and experiences of our service men and women.
This was an amazing story…presented with a genuine and relevant tone. Well done!

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Inspiring and Insightful

A fantastic listen and Dan provides a great insight into Special Forces and the dedication, resilience,commitment and drive to achieve his goals.Dan is most humble in telling his story and delivers his words in a relaxed but formal tone. He honours his fallen comrades with grace and dignity.We thank you for your service Dan Pronk.

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Great story

A great story of resilience.. overcoming mental health issues caused by war. Gives an insight into what these strong men go through to protect us.

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Awesome read.

Thanks Dan for sharing your story. As a former soldier, that didn't share your experiences by any means, it still resonated with me in profound ways. I thoroughly enjoyed your story.

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Captivating,

Dan provides a great indepth insight onto the struggles faced, usually unseen, within the defence force and more specifically in special forces. Dan does a great job with his reflection during his time in a combat doctor/medic role in his multiple deployments and the everlasting impacts from his experiences. The book sets itself apart from autobiographies written by other operators in it's unique differences in roles and Dan's narration of his lessons learnt. Great listen for those currently serving, thinking of serving and veterans alike.

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Combat Doctor

Great listen, the Voodoo Medics are some of the unsung heroes of the SF conflict in Afghanistan. Well led by Dan. I had tears when listening to how Dan tried to save some of the Soldiers I knew. Well done Dan, you did your best.

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In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.