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The interchange between physicians discussing a patient’s
case has been mentioned in written history since ancient
Greece. From the time of Hippocrates, physicians have been
encouraged to seek consultation on difficult cases when they
were in doubt. They were urged not to be jealous of one
another but to realize their own limitations and to use the
knowledge of their colleagues to help. “Nor, among physicians,
do those who treat by diet envy those who employ
surgery, but they even call each other into consultation and
commend one another.” It is clear, however, that there were
disagreements in those days: “Physicians who meet in consultation
must never quarrel or jeer at one another.” There
were also “wretched quarrelsome consultations at the bedside
of the patient, with no consultant agreeing with another,
fearing he might acknowledge a superior.”
Over the next 25 centuries, consultation has had its ups and
downs. Much of what was written had to do with the etiquette
and ethics of the interaction. In medieval Europe, little
changed from ancient times. Physicians were encouraged to
ask colleagues for help if needed and to refrain from criticizing
each other in front of non-physicians.
Now in its fifth edition, Medical Management of the Surgical Patient: A Textbook of Perioperative Medicine has been fully revised and updated and continues to provide an authoritative account of all aspects of perioperative care for surgical patients. Including recommended plans which aid accurate treatment of patients, it provides an evidence-based approach for consulting physicians to care for patients with underlying medical conditions that will affect their surgical management. The latest minimally invasive surgical techniques are included, with new chapters on thoracic aortic disease, reconstruction after cancer ablation, lung transplantation, esophagomyotomy, vasectomy and thyroid malignancies, amongst others. With detailed descriptions of nearly one-hundred operations, highlighting their usual course as well as their common complications, the book encourages learning from experience. This definitive account includes numerous contributions from leading experts at national centers of excellence. It will continue to serve as a significant reference work for internists, hospitalists, anesthesiologists and surgeons.