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Commentary
November 17, 2008

Surgical Precision

Arch Surg. 2008;143(11):1040. doi:10.1001/archsurg.143.11.1040

The phrase “carried out with the precision of a surgeon” is often used as an attribute in situations where care, knowledge, and judgment are vital, as well as technical capability. Precision is one of the attributes that distinguishes a surgeon both in and outside the operating room. Concise, correct, and appropriate language especially underscores this surgical quality; conversely, sloppy and unclear language denigrates.

Looming to epidemic proportions is the spurious use of the word “surgery” to indicate that fraction of surgical care involving an operation.1,2 Claude Welch, MD, summarized,

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