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April 1963

A Question of Surgery

Arch Intern Med. 1963;111(4):523-524. doi:10.1001/archinte.1963.03620280123021

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Although we do not usually review fiction in these columns, I would like to bring A Question of Surgery to the attention of our readers. A physician, using the nom de plume of Michael Fitzwilliam, wrote this straightforward fictional account of a few contemporary weeks in an English nonteaching hospital. The central character is a well-trained, board-certified, senior surgical resident. The story describes the trials and tribulations of this expert clinician, his hopes for an appointment to the surgical staff of his hospital, and how his ambitions and plans are impinged upon and disturbed by a series of complex and confusing social, political, and professional problems. This is not a major novel. The writing is sometimes superficial and the characters occasionally overdrawn, but the pace is well chosen and the plot realistic and forceful. The book is eminently readable and can be finished in a couple of hours. The author

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