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October 10, 1966

Operable Heart Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Author Affiliations

Lexington, Ky

JAMA. 1966;198(2):211. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110150159055

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This short textbook, devoid of references, is directed primarily at students, interns, and surgical residents. The author correlates cardiac anatomy and pathophysiology with clinical electrocardiographic and roentgenologic findings in patients with operable heart disease. In the preface he states that his presentation has evolved from experience in teaching medical students and house officers, but the book does not successfully transform effective classroom teaching into an effective writing. The lines separating the virtues of effective oral presentation from the sins of sloppy writing have been too frequently transgressed. As a result, brevity has become an omission of important information, and simplicity an over-simplification.

The bits of information selected for presentation are mostly of elementary nature. Nevertheless, not all definitions are precise and not all statements are accurate. Most of my colleagues—cardiologists—will not agree that in ventricular septal defect the harsh pansystolic murmur is loudest over the left second interspace; that in