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Surgical Reminiscence
May 2001


Arch Surg. 2001;136(5):601-602. doi:10.1001/archsurg.136.5.601

I WAS one of 3 chief residents in the Department Surgery at Presbyterian-St Luke's Hospital, an affiliate of the University of Illinois at Chicago in l960. One of our principal assignments was to cover the clinics where indigent patients were treated by the residents. Before commencing the year, we met to discuss our modus operandi. We had agreed that the operative cases of the day should be the responsibility of the resident assigned to cover the clinic. There was, however, to be one exception: "the potluck cases," a term coined by my contemporary co–chief resident, Pen Faber. These consisted of truly major operations by virtue of their rarity, complexity, and extent. These we would distribute in an alternate manner, so that we would all end up with equal numbers of patients.