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September 7, 1984

Principles of Surgery

Author Affiliations

University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Iowa City

JAMA. 1984;252(9):1189. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350090065031

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When first published in 1969, Principles of Surgery quickly became a "standard" of surgical textbooks. The editorial board believed that there was a need for a "modern" surgical textbook comparable to Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. I believe that they achieved this goal in the first edition.

The most recent offering (the fourth edition) is basically the same text with some substantial improvements. Like its predecessor, it is divided into two sections. The first, "Basic Considerations," has changed very little. The 13 chapters have been "modernized" and updated. An obvious example is seen in the picture of the man who underwent a liver resection for metastatic disease. The shirt that celebrated his five-year survival has been replaced by a new ten-year anniversary shirt and his smile is even broader than before. In general, this section has been improved by modernizing some of the basic concepts and by updating the bibliographies