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Cutting Remarks: Insights and Recollections of a Surgeon
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Cutting Remarks: Insights and Recollections of a Surgeon

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  36 ratings  ·  8 reviews
"A surgeon can kill you...and you'll sleep right through it."

The most dramatic—and seemingly glamorous—of medical fields, surgery captivates the public's imagination. Written for inquisitive laymen as well as anyone in the medical profession, this fascinating first-person account documents the career of one of America's top surgeons. Readers accompany Sidney Schwab through
Paperback, 248 pages
Published March 31st 2006 by Frog Books
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I really, really, really enjoyed this book. It's hilarious, irreverent (sometimes to the point of being offensive), bombastic, and above all tells it like it is. The doctoring books I usually read are introspective and like to examine, in great detail, what the doctor-patient relationship comprises and the ethical resonances surrounding a certain medical decision. I like these kinds of books because they reflect on the humanity of medicine and how we can never be certain of anything. However, wh ...more
I have observed that both physicians and writers aspire to defeat death, and only writers--very few, but still, a few--manage to do it. So it is natural that many physicians want to write, and do. Few turn out to be a Lewis Thomas, or a Rabelais. But some turn out to have their own voice, unique experience in surgical training that no longer exists, and wartime work at Da Nang, Viet Nam. Sid Schwab fits this prescription, and he adds an unusual combination of sentimental recall of specific patie ...more
Thoroughly enjoyed this memoir not only because of the author's wit, but also because of the insights into the life of a surgeon. I do wish Schwab had had a better editor because I did think the book could have been both tightened up and expanded and some of the punctuation errors could have been addressed.
Dr. Schwab is a well-known blogger who has written a book reflecting on his medical career. I checked out his book after I read someplace that he lives in Western Washington - which is a dumb reason to pick up a book, but I really enjoyed it, so I'm glad that the reason presented itself. There is a stereotype that all surgeons think they're God and are assholes to the nurses, the med students, etc... but either Dr. Schwab is an exception to the rule, or he's in deep denial. He writes about event ...more
Amy Watkins
I stumbled on this book at a book sale, not knowing what to expect. I'm so glad I did. This book is a lighthearted, and often funny, account of one surgeon's experience in training. It's not graphic (unless you Google image search "fistula") yet you still learn a thing or two about surgery, and how things have changed since the 1970s. As an added bonus, I visited his surgeon's blog, which is more of the same stories as in the book, and his non-medical blog, which I also enjoy. Overall a very enj ...more
I've read a lot of surgeons' professional biographies, from Bill Nolen's The Making of a Surgeon forty-plus years ago, and this is the best of them by quite a margin. The author has become something more than an acquaintance of mine through his blog, Cutting Through the Crap at
A surgeon's memoirs of his medical training. Very anecdotal with stories funny and poignant. He explains everything in non-medical terms, so it is accessible to all readers. He evidently wrote it largely himself--and it sounds like a surgeon wrote it.
Not as good as Atul Gawande, but still really neat to read, and a different type of surgeon writing. I'm a sucker for surgeon stories!
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