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Book Review
Oct 2011

A Few Small Moments

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

Arch Surg. 2011;146(10):1219. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2011.251

This collection of short stories about becoming and being a general surgeon by Chief of Surgery writer Carol Scott-Conner will make you remember many of your own moments “along the way” as you trained to become a surgeon and as you practiced as a surgeon. The author tells us that these reflections are fictional, but I could not resist seeing an image of Carol in her lead character Beth. Dr Scott-Conner has always been one of my heroines because she was only the second woman to be Chair of Surgery in the country when she took the position at the University of Iowa in 1995. She was a quiet and polite trailblazer. I visited the University of Iowa prior to her stepping down and was impressed by how beautiful the hospital and new medical school building were and how concerned and caring the surgeons were (just like Carol). You will find such compassion and thoughtfulness in each of her short stories. Once you finish the book, you will find yourself thinking of your own short stories and of the many patients you have treated. This book makes one remember why you became a surgeon: to care for your patients and to teach the next generation of surgeons. Sometimes, in these days of profitability and contribution margins, the pleasure of caring for those who are sick is forgotten. This book will help you to remember.

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