Central Surgical Association Presidential address| Volume 142, ISSUE 4, P433-438, October 2007

Humanism and the art of surgery

  • Thomas A. Stellato
    Reprint requests: Thomas A. Stellato, MD, FACS, Professor of Surgery, University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Department of Surgery, 11100 Euclid Ave, Cleveland, OH, 44106.
    University Hospitals Case Medical Center, Department of Surgery, Cleveland, OH
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      I would like to begin by asking each surgeon to recall an experience we have all shared. Do you remember the day you received your acceptance letter for medical school? For me, it was in 1971, 36 years ago. I was in Connecticut, sitting in the kitchen with my parents, both of whom had a profound respect for the value of education, probably because neither had ever finished high school. Back then, our goals were simple and focused. We wanted to take care of patients. We wanted to make sick people well. We wanted to ease suffering. Somewhere along the way, we decided that surgery could best accomplish those goals. As the years have passed since medical school, these simple goals may have become blurred. Over the next few minutes, I would like to try to rekindle that idea that surgery is the ultimate profession. I hope to accomplish this by reminding you of some of the extraordinary things surgeons have done in the past and some of the things surgeons do today.
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