Photographer W. Eugene Smith spent 23 days in Kremmling, Colo., chronicling the day-to-day challenges faced by a general practitioner named Dr. Ernest Ceriani. Dr. Ernest Ceriani makes a house call on foot, Kremmling, Colo., 1948. Dr. Ceriani was the sole physician for an area of about 400 square miles... Unmotivating Dr. Ceriani examines a feverish 4-year-old girl suffering from tonsillitis. Although most of his patients were children, Ceriani was initially inexperienced in pediatrics when he started his practice and studied up on it whenever he had the chance. VK Dr. Ceriani sits at the bedside of a patient as he assesses flu symptoms during a house call. When Smith began "Country Doctor," he shot for a period of time with no film in his camera, to help Ceriani get used to his presence without wasting precious film. PunjabiJunktion The doctor tapes a patient who broke some ribs after a horse rolled over him. PunjabiJunktion Dr. Ceriani uses a syringe to irrigate wax from an elderly man's ear to improve his hearing. Twitter Two friends transport Dr. Ceriani to Gore Canyon so he can enjoy a few hours of recreational fishing, a rare treat for the hard-working physician. PIROJOK Dr. Ceriani is called to an emergency: A young girl has been kicked in the head by a horse and is badly injured. LIVEJOURNAL The child's worried parents look on as Dr. Ceriani, surrounded by nurses, examines their 2-year-old daughter. PIROJOK Dr. Ceriani has stitched the girl's wound to minimize scarring, but he must now find a way to tell the parents that her eye cannot be saved and they must take her a specialist in Denver to have it removed. Amazfacts The doctor helps a rancher carry his son into the hospital. The inebriated young man dislocated his elbow when he was thrown from a bronco at a rodeo. PIROJOK In the backseat of a car, Dr. Ceriani administers a shot of morphine to a 60-year-old tourist from Chicago, seen here with her grandson, who was suffering from a mild heart disturbance. vk "Don't tell my mother," said the young man. Still under the effects of ether, he didn't realize she'd been holding his hand during the procedure. Formulazd Dr. Ceriani checks the blood pressure of 85-year-old Thomas Mitchell, who came to the hospital with a gangrenous leg. Knowing that Mitchell might not be strong enough to ensure the necessary amputation, Ceriani had been postponing surgery. TARINGA! When Mitchell finally rallied, the doctor gently carried him from the basement ward up to the operating room of the hospital, which had no elevator. PLUS Dr. Ceriani gives the 85-year-old man spinal anesthesia before amputating his gangrenous left leg. IMAGECK Not published in LIFE. Doctor Ceriani checks 4-year-old Jimmy Free's foot, cut when the boy stepped on broken glass. RIBALYCH The treeless ranching community of Kremmling, Colo., stands on a 7,000-ft. plateau beneath the towering Rocky Mountains. EMGN After finishing a surgery that lasted until 2 AM, Dr. Ceriani stands exhausted in the hospital kitchen with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. "The nurses," LIFE noted, "constantly admonish him to relax and rest, but because they are well aware that he cannot, they keep a potful of fresh coffee simmering for him at all hours." CULTURACOLECTIVA Not published in LIFE. Dr. Ceriani examines his handiwork after the partial amputation of a patient's leg, Kremmling, Colo., August 1948. The patient, Thomas Mitchell, was suffering from a gangrenous infection. JOURNAL Ceriani successfully delivering a baby DON-MINDIA The contents of a country doctor’s bag, Kremmling, Colo., 1948. Imgur.com Credits: hypertomb.com Share this story on Facebook with your friends.