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Books, Journals, New Media
September 22/29, 1999

SurgeryThe Scalpel's Edge: The Culture of Surgeons

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available


Copyright 1999 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.1999American Medical Association


by Pearl Katz, 251 pp, with illus, paper, $17.33, ISBN 0-205-27007-7, Boston, Mass, Allyn & Bacon, 1999.

JAMA. 1999;282(12):1192-1193. doi:10.1001/jama.282.12.1192-JBK0922-3-1

At first glance a naive observer who peered through a window in the secluded, restricted room called the operating room would assume the activities inside to be sacred rites . . . He would see six masked people . . . in green and white costumes which cover all parts of their bodies except their eyes. These six people orchestrate a slow, quiet, synchronized dance around a naked person who is lying motionless on a raised platform. The performers make exaggerated movements, such as passing in a stylistic manner shiny pointed objects to one another. . . . Entrance to that innermost isolated room is permitted only to those people who have specialized, restricted knowledge—those who know the language, have undergone the cleansing ritual, and have the appropriate costumes and masks (with the exception of the prostrate one).

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