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Book and Media Reviews
December 28, 2011

Global Surgery and Public Health: A New Paradigm

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, University of Kansas, Kansas City (tmclean@isp.com).

JAMA. 2011;306(24):2730. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1874

Written as much for the general public as for the medical community, the fact-packed Global Surgery and Public Health by Catherine deVries and Raymond Price will benefit all physicians in the developed world, regardless of their specialty. Specifically, the discussion of economic principles with respect to the allocation of limited resources is as applicable to the developed as the developing world.

For example, consider how the process of making surgery affordable in the developing world can reduce the developed world's dependency on expensive health care technology. The authors observe that the “challenge of making surgery accessible and affordable to the majority of people is not complex or unique to the surgical industry.” In most industries, complex and expensive products can evolve into simpler manufactured products through innovation, thereby making them less expensive. Such innovation, in turn, is predicated on a manufacturer's development of technology and innovative business models.