By: 17 December 2014
Smart surgeons, sharp decisions: Decision-making is key to safe surgery


This issue’s reviews were written by Firas Arnaout, Speciality Doctor in Trauma and Orthopaedics, Worcester Royal Hospital, Worcester

This book is published by tfm Publishing as part of the surgical psychology series.

The author has both surgical and psychological experience, being involved in mentoring surgeons at various levels of their careers.

Patients prefer to think that surgeons, like robots, always work at the peak of performance consistently. Smart surgeons have to have insight into how their feelings and behaviour can alter performance.

This book is written for the surgeon who wishes to be more than just a good technician; one who can optimise his own performance and behaviour with insight and intelligence.

Decision-making is key to safe surgery, the art of which is well explained in this book with fascinating examples.

The book comprises 140 pages and chapters include:

  • The checklist phenomenon
  • To err is surgeon
  • Human factors in surgery
  • Why good surgeons make bad decisions
  • Cognitive errors

Each chapter ends with a summary of the key points.

This book deserves a read. It is eminently browsable, readable and informative. Medical students, residents and expert surgeons can and should all learn from this and reflect on how we think and make mistakes.

Title: Smart surgeons, sharp decisions: Cognitive skills to avoid errors & achieve results
Author: Uttam Shiralkar
Publisher: tfm Publishing
Price: £27.50
ISBN: 978-1-9033788-1-6