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July 30, 1960

Surgery as a Human Experience: The Psychodynamics of Surgical Practice

JAMA. 1960;173(13):1509. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020310097035

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With the growing tendency of medical men to specialize, it is no longer possible for any practitioner to be all things to all patients, and the need for an interrelationship of surgical and psychiatric services becomes apparent. The authors of this extremely well-written book have delved deeply into the emotional problems of the surgical patient which can affect his recovery and adjustment to his altered condition.

Reporting the results of a two-year study of 200 surgical patients selected at random, who were followed up for six months after their operations, the authors have produced a text which is illuminating to the surgeon, the general practitioner, and the patient himself. They have investigated preoperative and postoperative depressions, the reaction of patients with psychosomatic illness to operation, the influence of deep-seated emotional stress on recovery, the personality changes that can be expected after the patient has lost a body function or organ,

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