November 1993

A Twentieth-Century Surgeon: My Life in the Massachusetts General Hospital

Author Affiliations

Decatur, Ga


by Claude E. Welch, 392 pp, with illus, $24.95, Canton, Mass, Watson Publishing International, 1992.

Arch Surg. 1993;128(11):1293. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1993.01420230121018

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Claude E. Welch, MD, the product of a solid, middle-class, mid-American background, exemplifies the best that clinical surgery has to offer. When I seek to define what is different about Dr Welch, I must focus on the fact that his aptitude, his activities, and his success are multidimensional in a way that is almost unprecedented for a clinical surgeon. His accomplishments are legion in his lifelong clinical service to patients; in teaching of subordinates, associates, and superiors; and in professional and academic life. In these measurable dimensions of height, breadth, depth, and time, he can hold his own with any surgeon. But to find the difference—the qualities that set Claude Welch apart—one must look into the other dimensions, the spiritual dimensions that are not so fathomable. To me, this is the value of this autobiographical memoir written by this remarkable man.

Dr Welch relates the tale of his clinical career

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