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April 1997

Basic Principles in Surgical Oncology

Arch Surg. 1997;132(4):338-346. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430280012001

To talk about basic principles in surgical oncology, I need to explain how I arrived at them, how my experiences in surgery led me to espouse them, and how I became foolhardy enough to inflict them on you! As a psychology major at Amherst College, I only went to medical school to be a psychiatrist, but my exposure to surgery was so exciting that I considered changing plans. However, while attracted to surgery, I was also fearful of its demands. At a weekend visiting my parents, the husband of one of mother's best friends talked about how he had picked a challenging and preoccupying career to be sure that he was constantly engaged, challenged, and free of boredom. That brief snatch of conversation somehow helped convince me to launch into surgery.

Little did I realize how engrossing it could become! After Cornell Medical School I wound up at the Tufts

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