Cutting Remarks: Insights and Recollections of a Surgeon

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"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 medical school at Case Western Reserve University; an internship; junior and senior residencies (with a detour to Vietnam, where he won a Purple Heart); and finally his chief residency years in San Francisco. With humor and poignancy—and sometimes graphic detail—Schwab recalls memorable surgeries, surgeons, and patients. He takes care to explain, in understandable and interesting fashion, a variety of diseases, medical issues, and surgical techniques. More than just a memoir, Cutting Remarks offers a compelling look at how trauma and surgery are handled at a major hospital, and provides valuable insight into a surgeon's relationship with both peers and patients.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - AlanWPowers - LibraryThing

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 so many physicians want to write, and do ... Read full review

great book

User Review  - jreader -

Cutting Remarks is the story of Sid Schwabs training as a surgeon. Wellwritten touching interesting stories about patients residents and attendings help us all have a better understanding of the costs and rewards of being a surgeon. For the rest of the story read surgeons blog online. Read full review


The Start
Into the Blue
Blood on the Walls
A Little Girl and Her Kidneys
The Mission Nearly Impossible
On to Vascular Surgery
A Bit of a Life
A Taste of the Trauma Team
Gut and Glory
Loose Ends of the Second Year
The Beginning
Able to Teach
Crumbs of The County
Whipple 113
The Masters Voice

Treating Veterans and Becoming One
The Middle
A View of the Master

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About the author (2006)

Sidney M. Schwab, MD, Board Certified in Surgery and a fellow of the American College of Surgeons, did his surgery training at the University of California at San Francisco and practiced surgery in Oregon and Washington State, where he served on the board of directors of one of the most successful fully physician-run multispecialty clinics in the US. Schwab has been listed in the national guide of top doctors. Today he lives in Everett, Washington, with Judy Mumma Schwab, his wife of thirty-four years. Read his blog at

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