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July 22, 1916


JAMA. 1916;LXVII(4):253-260. doi:10.1001/jama.1916.02590040007002

In discussing the preparation of the patient for operation, I wish to consider his mind, his body in general and his eyes in particular.

In preparing the patient for operation, we should aim to "rob surgery of its terrors" (Moynihan). This preparation must begin with our initial examination of the patient, our method of broaching the subject of operation, our sympathetic attitude toward his ignorant prejudices and fears. All this is as truly a part of the successful surgeon's training and equipment as his mastery of asepsis and other matters I shall soon discuss.

There is no one here but has himself felt the depressing effect of fear, dread, anxiety, worry, embarrassment and the stimulating tonic effect of hope, courage, faith, sympathy, religion, some one to lean on. Why do we not more systematically and deliberately set ourselves to utilize these facts?

In taking the history of the patient, special

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