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June 1988

Atlas of Advanced Surgery

Arch Surg. 1988;123(6):787. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1988.01400300133039

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Before writing a medical text, authors and editors should take aim on the target reader and decide on the load (content) of the text. A convenient check-off list might be as follows:

  • Readers

    1. Student

    2. Resident

    3. Clinical specialist

    4. Investigator

  • Content

    • General information

    • Pathophysiology

    • Clinical diagnosis and treatment

    • Technical skills

Those that attempt a smothering rather than directed fire and take aim on the entire huddled group of readers 1 through 4 are usually doomed either to score only occasional hits, to writing multiple volumes, to failure, or to all of the above.

Litwin, as a mature clinical surgeon with admirable restraint, focuses this book on sections 3 and d above. It is, except for a few imperfections, a pure surgical atlas. It starts where most atlases stop being designed for experienced general abdominal surgeons who seek help in the technical niceties of procedures

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