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The Scientific Basis of Surgery

Samuel P. Harbison, MD
JAMA. 1966;196(7):668-669. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03100200108047.
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The Scientific Basis of Surgery, edited by W. T. Irvine, is another text which emphasizes how essential it is today for surgeons to understand the known basic phenomena underlying their art. The difficulty in producing such a volume as this lies in determining how much to include, what is "surgical," and what is likely to be of more than temporary usefulness. Indeed, the editor, speaking of contributors who did not meet the deadline by more than a year, comments, "Any further delay would have diminished the usefulness of the other chapters."

However, this volume is an excellent reference for student, house officer, and practicing surgeon. Individual chapters are devoted to such timely subjects as "The Role of Surgery in Myocardial Ischemia," "Extracorporeal Circulation," "Cardiac Arrest and Ventricular Fibrillation," "Hypothermia," and "Hyperbaric Oxygenation." Refreshingly, cancer is approached from the aspects of the biochemistry of the tumor cell, the immunologic reactions of


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