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January 4, 1995

Gordon's Guide to the Surgical Morbidity and Mortality Conference

JAMA. 1995;273(1):86-87. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520250102047

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Every real professor goes to bed at night praying his boss will die, resign, leave, or be fired!

Respect your elders. So what if the guy refers to phenol, alcohol, and phlogiston? He was in the trenches when you were in diapers. Show some respect!

Resident: The patient developed respiratory distress on the third postoperative day.

Braniac Professor: Did you measure his 2,3 diethyl cyclic esterase preop? (This will be asked as if this were a hematocrit.)

Maniac Professor: We see this frequently in our limb-lengthening patients.

The author of the above selections, Dr Leo Gordon, thinks that the surgical morbidity and mortality conference (M and M) is a central element of the surgical trainee's education and should be improved and reemphasized. To that end he has written Gordon's Guide to same, inspired by Strunk and White's succinct Elements of Style. It is culled from his observations at "hundreds of

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