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In the third edition of A Short Textbook of Surgery, the authors have attempted to span the scope of surgery and its specialties within 600 5×8 inch pages. The use of an essay style with infrequent tables and out-line forms limits the amount of material that can be presented in the allotted space. The first 85 pages are devoted to basic surgical topics, while the remainder of the book is divided equally between general surgery and the surgical specialties.
The sections on general surgery are well summarized and written, especially those dealing with surgical endocrinology and colon surgery. The chapters on genitourinary system and on orthopedic and urological surgery are perhaps the best chapters in the book, reflecting the advantages of collaboration with surgeons with special interests in these areas.
In a short textbook one must accept the fact that some details are inevitably sacrificed for the sake of brevity.
CHANG WHJ. A Short Textbook of Surgery. Arch Surg. 1974;109(3):461. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01360030113040