March 27, 1987

Beyond Appearance: Reflections of a Plastic Surgeon

Author Affiliations

University of Illinois, Chicago

University of Illinois, Chicago


by Robert A. Goldwyn, 229 pp, $16.95, New York, Dodd Mead & Co Inc, 1986.

JAMA. 1987;257(12):1656. doi:10.1001/jama.1987.03390120118043

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Using the vehicle of a typical work-week, Dr Goldwyn conveys his philosophy of medicine with special insights into the disciplines of plastic surgery and psychiatry. He does this by probing introspectively the social and religious significance of his routine professional activities.

Leaving his driveway for the hospital parking lot at 7 AM Monday, he introduces the reader to his colleagues, his patients, and his conflicts and anxieties stemming from his relations with them. The book ends Friday evening after Dr Goldwyn has touched on each event of his week and discussed its meaning to him. He manages to explore the significance of many aspects of medical ethics as well as analyze the way his religious beliefs relate to the socioeconomic aspects of medicine and the ambiguities of contemporary civilization.

Goldwyn is a seasoned author and editor, and therefore this book is well crafted and extremely easy to read. However, it