Medical students and interns rotating through General Surgery divide themselves into two groups, those who know when to step on the Bovie pedal and those who need to be elbowed into doing so. Basic Surgical Techniques will find a ready audience in the former group, composed for the most part of young people who know little more about surgery than that they are strongly attracted to it. Such students of surgery will buy one of the major texts and will find that it fails to adequately cover the more practical matters to which this book is devoted.
Kirk addresses such fundamental questions as how one handles instruments, various types of tissue, bleeding, and drains. He even includes one chapter of immediate, practical value for students. Entitled "Handling Display," it covers the uses of retractors. Perhaps most important is the first chapter, "Handling Yourself," which contains such reassuring statements as "... there