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The publication of the 18th edition of a medical work first published almost 80 years ago makes us wonder why it continues to survive and in what respects the current edition resembles the original. In the preface to the very first edition Pye wrote, "In this book I have endeavored to describe the details of surgical work as it appears from the point of view of house-surgeons and dressers in surgical wards. My aim has been, further, to present this work to them as to men apprenticed to a skilled labour, in which excellence can only be obtained by the acquisition of manual skill or handicraft; for although surgery is doubtless becoming more scientific day by day, and although it may, even now, have come to pass that with the increasing recognition of its higher aims, its manipulative side is unduly overshadowed, nevertheless Chirurgery can never be false to its
Ryan AJ. Pye's surgical handicraft; being a practical guide for the general practitioner, the house surgeon, the surgical dresser, and the specialist surgical nurse. Vol. II (Special).. JAMA. 1963;184(11):905. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03700240097031