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September 24, 1982

Surgery: Essentials of Clinical Practice

JAMA. 1982;248(12):1514. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330120068047

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Writing a surgical textbook used to be easy. Surgical encyclopedias could be all things to all readers. But the explosive growth of knowledge concerning diseases best treated by operative means has made this impossible, and each text, if it is to be of any value, must take aim at a specific target readership. Nardi and Zuidema, in this, their fourth edition, once again take straight aim at medical students. As experienced, authoritative editors using sophisticated contributors, they stick to their guns and are not distracted by material that would be interesting to specialists but trivial to junior and senior medical students. One can almost anticipate on every page the colored-pencil underlining by students of facts they consider important for their own knowledge. With such a specific objective, this book will be valuable to the student, but of limited interest to residents or practicing surgeons.

Harvard has characteristically written its own