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Surgical Reminiscence
May 2003

Incidents in Surgical History

Arch Surg. 2003;138(5):563. doi:10.1001/archsurg.138.5.563

THE ECONOMICS of surgical training have not always permitted the relative freedom of financial security of the present day.

Friday the 13th has always been a lucky day. A young surgical resident, the only house officer on the professor's busy private service, performs rounds early in the morning, an operation with the professor that takes most of the day, rounds with the professor in the afternoon, and rounds alone in the evening. At 11 PM, the lights would still be on in a certain private room. The resident would drop in to see the patient who had had his kidney removed because of a malignant tumor. The patient would not be asleep, and would seem to enjoy talking to the young man, exploring with him the latter's dreams for the future. His day's work finished, the resident could relax and enjoy the reminiscences and advice of the older man. A sense of camaraderie had evolved between them throughout the past 10 evenings.

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