Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cutting Remarks

I have been a bit remiss in posting the past few weeks. It's amazing how work seems to get in the way of blogging! Anyway, I'd like to echo the comments made by my esteemed surgical colleague to the east and make a recommendation for anyone who is interested in reading about the life of a surgeon. Dr. Sidney Schwab, a retired general surgeon, has written a book about his experiences in training in the early 190s. . The book is entitled Cutting Remarks : Insights and Recollections of a Surgeon, and is available at a variety of locations. While my copy is still en route, I did enjoy the snippets that Dr. Schwab was kind enough to send my way. In particular, it is apparent that his take on the training of a young surgeon is pretty similar to the way I have always viewed things:

Internship is about osmosis: learning by absorption, by being there. There are no classes, no curriculum, no exams. It’s the ultimate descendant of apprenticeship—highly-caffeinated, on-the-job training. Learning derives from seeing and doing, and from randomly strewn pearls of wisdom, tossed to you when appropriate to the moment.
I couldn't say it any better (and probably would say it worse!). Anyone who is interested in learning about what the "surgical life" is like would do well to pick up a copy!