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Book and New Media Review
November 2000

Basic Surgical Skills

Arch Dermatol. 2000;136(11):1418. doi:10-1001/pubs.Arch Dermatol.-ISSN-0003-987x-136-11-dbk00002

Congratulations to both Sherris and Kern for providing a valuable addition to the process of training medical students and future surgeons. Their newly published Basic Surgical Skills (with CD-ROM) fills an obvious void by providing a simple but thorough overview of basic surgical terminology, concepts, and techniques—a learning process that has historically passed from surgeon to trainee in an apprenticeship fashion.

Geared toward medical students or first-year surgical residents (including dermatologic surgery), this book/CD-ROM set follows a new trend in medical multimedia textbooks; it combines a 152-page paperback book with an accompanying CD-ROM. The text is divided into 14 sections and covers many of the things previously learned as the result of trial and error: everything from the the process of scrubbing, the basic science of wound healing, the concept of relaxed skin tension lines, suture materials, local anesthetics, surgical instruments, surgical knots, skin closure using 9 different techniques, hemostasis, postoperative wound care and complications, and even basic skin flaps! In addition, the book is full of tips and "pearls" relating to a variety of these topics. The book is concise in word, thorough in breadth, and heavily illustrated with both pictures and superb drawings that help make the points of discussion clear. In addition, scattered throughout the book are quizzes, and at the end of the text a 100-question test helps round out the educational value of the book.

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