Residents Red Nose Day

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What the Surgeon Ought to Be

The conditions necessary for the Surgeon are four: First, he should be learned; Second, he should be expert; Third, he must be ingenious; and Fourth, he should be able to adapt himself.

It is required for the First that the surgeon should know not only the principles of surgery, but also those of medicine in theory and practice; for the Second, that he should have seen others operate; for the Third, that he should be ingenious, of good judgement and memory to recognize conditions; and for the Fourth, that he be adaptable and able to accommodate himself to circumstances.

Let the Surgeon be bold in all sure things, and fearful in dangerous things; let him avoid all faulty treatments and practices. He ought to be gracious to the sick, considerate to his associates, cautious in his prognostications. Let him be modest, dignified, gentle, pitiful, and merciful; not covetous nor an extortionist of money; but rather let his reward be according to his work, to the means of the patient, to the quality of the issue, and to his own dignity.

Guy de Chauliac, 1300-1370
Father of Surgery (from Ars Chirurgica)