Surgical Decision Making, by Ben Eiseman and Roger S. Wotkyns, $32, with illus, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1978.
Surgical Decision Making and its companion text Prognosis of SurgicalDisease diagrammatically display the surgical decision-making process and the prognosis that can be expected after decisions are made. The books are identical in style: an algorithm appears for each disease, accompanied by explanations and editorial comments, and with references on the facing page.
The problem with flow diagrams in decision making is that they may suffer from both individual bias and failure to provide the pathophysiologic basis for a given surgical decision. The experienced clinical surgeon or teacher, recognizing the limitation of this approach to surgical disease, may find great use in these books both as a review of diagnostic and therapeutic program plans and as an excellent outline to be used in preparation for teaching conferences for students and house staff.