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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Bruce E Jarrell, MD (University of Maryland School of Medicine)
Description: This book on advanced surgical practice, one in a series on surgical instruction, is an appropriate and logical addition to the two prior publications. The first was Fundamentals of Surgical Practice and the second was Principles of Surgical Practice.
Purpose: The aim of this book is to prepare surgeons in higher surgical training areas. It is based on a curriculum for general surgeons as a specialty.
Audience: This book is for advanced students of general surgery.
Features: This large book has eight broad sections representing each subspecialty of general surgery, including upper GI disease, lower GI disease, endoscopically-treated diseases, breast disease, endocrine disease, vascular disease, transplantation, and pediatric surgery. There are close to 100 chapters written by different authors. The beginning of each chapter deals with theory of the practice of surgery in that disease specialty. The body of the chapter then deals with the details of the operative surgery both in terms of technical details as well as broad decision making. It particularly emphasizes index cases, which are described as cases are critical to the training of a general surgeon. At the end of each chapter there is a short list of further reading.
Assessment: This book accomplishes its goal of helping surgeons who wish to become experts in a chosen specialty of general surgery. It also allows one to obtain a much broader view of the specialties of general surgery at the same time. The book is well written and very readable. The X-rays and images are of particularly high quality and are actually interpretable from the book. The surgical approach described in the book is more of a British approach to the many diseases rather than an American approach. This makes for very interesting reading for an American surgeon. Each chapter presented me with a way of thinking about a disease that was different from my formal American training. The book clearly describes advanced techniques and would give the practicing surgeon many additional options for treating patients. The book is also loaded with detailed discussions on the theory of particular diseases. I was particularly impressed with the amount of genetic detail included for many diseases. For example, the hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer syndromes are discussed in great detail and would prepare any trainee for the in-service exams. This is an excellent book and I enjoyed reading it immensely because of its different view of surgery from traditional American surgery.