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May 1989

Seldom Come By: The Worthwhileness of a Career in Surgery

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Maine Medical Center, Portland.

Arch Surg. 1989;124(5):530-534. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1989.01410050020002

The title of my essay is the name of a town a long way Down East, and my subject is the joy of surgery, the magic stuff, the grail that once moved every doctor in this room to become a surgeon and that even now beckons through the jading mists of tedium and time. Strip away the corrupting dullness and look afresh at our profession. I contend it to be the most splendiferous of all professions and will argue this: first, with a distant mirror on medical adventuring in a remote island setting and, second, with a hand lens applied to three wonders of the surgeon's world, wonders of the body, mind, and spirit.

THE SURGEON'S CHARMED LIFE IN A REMOTE SETTING  Come with me to Newfoundland, where, during the summer between the third and fourth years at Harvard Medical School, classmates, Jerry Foster and Arnold Nevis, and I first

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