Fifteen Eighty Four

Academic perspectives from Cambridge University Press


Surgical Training Requires Relentless, Forward, Progress

Mazyar Kanani, Simon Lammy

“to study the phenomena of disease without books is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books without patients is not to go to sea at all”

Sir William Osler, 1849-1919

It is always a pleasure to see a patient as a doctor. It is even more rewarding to see that patient, assess their clinical need, request tests to inform clinical decision making and put those into practice to effect long-lasting improvement in their condition. Why? Because this saves and improves lives.

Surgical training requires a robust mindset to continually improve one’s clinical acumen. Such an improvement is dependent on seeing and operating on as many patients as you can. But the majority of our work exists outside of the operating room. The best teacher in surgical training is hands-on experience. A ten minute interaction in a clinical context can provide a thousand words worth of book knowledge. However, this clinical context needs to be the correct educational one. As a thoroughly experienced trainee if not possessing the correct educational knowledge can result in a dangerous surgeon.

A component of surgical training often lacking robust education is critical care. This is a fundamental aspect of obtaining membership of the Royal College of Surgeons, i.e. MRCS, and requires continual revision of book knowledge due to the decreasing reliance on surgical trainees to sort critical care problems the more senior they become. But if a junior trainee calls a senior trainee at 3am for advice, a quick and reliable extraction of up-to-date knowledge is required to implement necessary tests and investigations, before definitive help is sought from an intensive care specialist. This can be life-saving and improving but requires continual exposure, combined with sound knowledge and repetition.

The objective of this book is to enable surgical trainees not just to obtain MRCS, but to have an easily accessible resource to revise basic and complex concepts that all surgical disciplines expect to encounter. It remains a book that, despite being updated twice over, continues to teach and guide surgeons.

We hope over the course of this edition that it proves to be once again a useful resource. But more importantly we look forward to the feedback to help us improve it further.

About The Authors

Mazyar Kanani

Mazyar Kanani is a Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Cardiac Unit, James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough....

View profile >

Simon Lammy

Simon Lammy is an ST7 neurosurgical registrar at the Institute of Neurological Sciences at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow....

View profile >

Latest Comments

Have your say!