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Books, Journals, New Media
November 27, 2002

SurgeryAcross the Red Line: Stories From the Surgical Life

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 2002;288(20):2615. doi:10.1001/jama.288.20.2615

Extolled as an idyllic way of life, the practice of surgery in a medical school is appreciated by Dr Karl as a great privilege, an opportunity to do good things—educating the young, treating the ill—and to fulfill one's physical and emotional needs.

In Across the Red Line the author describes much that is satisfying in being an academic surgeon. He emphasizes the pleasures of teaching, the satisfaction of performing complex surgery, and the great joy in participating in the course of patient recovery. He does not gloss over disappointments and burdens: failure of a carefully planned operation, findings of pathology beyond operability, frustrating complications, and the always present possibilities of death and disaster.

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