In addition to medical journals and textbooks, surgeons have learned important lessons from titles in their own libraries. Three orthopedic surgeons shared the books they believe should be read by everyone in their field.
Ask orthopedic surgeons is a weekly series of questions posed to surgeons across the country about clinical, business and political issues affecting orthopedic care. We invite all orthopedic surgeons and specialists to respond.
Next question: What is your biggest professional regret?
Please send your responses to Carly Behm at firstname.lastname@example.org by 5 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 4.
Editor’s Note: Answers have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
Question: What is the book that you recommend all orthopedic surgeons read in their lifetime and why?
Anthony Melillo, MD. Bay Oaks Orthopedics & Sports Medicine (Houston): I really recommend all doctors and especially surgeons to read Being Mortal by Atul Gawande, MD, a practicing surgeon. In this all-important book, he fearlessly discusses the emotional struggles of his profession and the lost art of supporting dying patients. It moved me from tears to enlightenment for the ultimate experience that every patient, friend, family member and self will eventually face. It is a remarkable book!
Cory Calendine, MD. Tennessee Bone and Joint Institute (Franklin): The Bible. Because you will never stop learning from it.
Sigurd Berven, MD. University of California, San Francisco: I recommend The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. The book captures the importance of perseverance and teamwork in individual and collective success. The concepts of harmony, symphony, and swing were central to the success of the University of Washington team in 1936 and applied to teams in other fields, including orthopedic surgery departments.