A SHORT while ago, I was asked to speak at the funeral service of a close friend, a general surgeon. In preparing my remarks, I began to think about the characteristics of an ideal general surgeon, and I identified 10 desirable traits.
The surgeon should be interested in other people. Patients respond best to surgeons who treat them as human beings. The martinet who feels superior to everyone else invites trouble, both from patients and from colleagues.
The surgeon must be well informed about the anatomy, physiology, pathology, and pharmacology of surgical disease. Understanding the scientific basis for an operation separates the surgeon from the skilled technician.
Morton JH. The Qualities of a Successful Surgeon. Arch Surg. 2000;135(12):1477. doi:10.1001/archsurg.135.12.1477