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Accumulation of numerous pieces of information that must be readily available to the practicing surgeon is by necessity a slow process. It begins in medical school and is usually aided by the little black book or "peripheral brain" of the senior student, in which he has jotted down the various syndromes, statistics, and studies that his training has presented him.
On July 1, however, it becomes evident within the first few hours that some of the most important bits are lacking in his file, namely, the essential daily routines and problems that confront him in the care of the surgical patient. While we are moving away from prolonged surgical training programs, four years seems the minimum of time to assimilate the body of knowledge required.
The Manual of Surgical Therapeutics presented in its first edition a pocket-sized adjunct to the house officer's black book, a more surgically oriented version of
SANDERS JH. Manual of Surgical Therapeutics.. Arch Surg. 1973;106(1):118. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350130112030