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Mark Atwood
Review. Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science
I got a pleasant surprise in the mail today: a tightly wrapped package stamped "MEDIA MAIL", containing a copy of Complications: A Surgeon's Notes on an Imperfect Science. gipsieee had lent me her copy. I read it all in one sitting.

I especially liked the chapter "Nine Thousand Surgeons", where he captured the feeling of attending Clinical Congress of Surgeons annual convention and trade show. His description of the joy of getting to play with beyond the state of the art machines, his reverence at discovering an antiquarian bookseller of the field, his giddy amazement at live demonstrations the shockingly rapid advances in the state of the art (in this case, growing synthetic livers), and most especially the close and warm camaraderie of people from all over the country who were perfect strangers who had everything important in common, the love of their craft, made it sound like the best parts of the best cons. (Especially when he compared it to the simultaneous in the same city convention of PR professionals, which was almost completely the opposite.)

It's an excellent book and it gives a great insight into a world that is very important but mysteriously distant.

I recommend it.

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