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January 1973

The Anesthesiologist and the Surgeon: Partners in the Operating Room.

Arch Surg. 1973;106(1):118-119. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1973.01350130112031

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Some time ago Dr. Bunker raised a modest furor by suggesting that there were too many surgeons in the United States and that they do too many operations. Many surgeons sprang to the barricades to point out that it is unjust to establish a norm for the appropriate number of operations by citing England and Wales where only half as many operations per person are performed. Bunker made no unequivocal statement that the frequency of operations in the United States was related to fee-for-service, but many commentators showed less reticence in using his report as a basis for leveling at American surgeons the related charges of unnecessary surgery and venality.

With this background one might expect Dr. Bunker's book to be an expansion of his original controversial thesis, and the provocative title of his last chapter, "The Taming of the Surgeon," lends support to that expectation. However, his delightful book

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