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October 1938


Arch Otolaryngol. 1938;28(4):538-545. doi:10.1001/archotol.1938.00650040549003

It is natural for the surgeon to exhibit his cured patient with a feeling of pride. He has succeeded in the face of obstacles, and his labors have been rewarded. He presents his case before a medical society with photographs, slides or motion pictures and a recitation of how the operation was performed and receives the congratulation of friends and fellow members. All of this is stimulating and perhaps food for vanity. But what of the failures and the complications? Are they passed off lightly or ignored completely? May the surgeon take to himself the credit for success and pass on to the processes of nature, to the hospital, to the nursing staff or to the anesthetist the blame for failure?

The wise surgeon profits more by his failures than by his cures. He examines the causes of failure with diligence and with diligence seeks their correction. Complications may arise