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To whom it
Dear sir or madam,
Bulletin transition to
I guess it is a sign of the times
that the Bulletin of the American
College of Surgeons is transitioning
to an exclusively electronic
publication in 2017. According
to recent e-mail from ACS
headquarters in Chicago, IL, it is
an “exciting” development and
will save the College thousands
of dollars. However, it is quite
likely that senior Fellows will
stop bothering to read much of
what the College sends their way.
Those of us who are not
constantly glued to small glowing
screens will not spend much time
perusing the publication. At least
I won’t. With a magazine in hand,
one can flip the pages, move
along, go back if desired, and put
the issue down for another time.
Yes, that can be done online, but it
is more laborious and then there
are so many other distractions at
hand. One can waste a whole lot
of time following various links,
forgetting what might have been
of interest a few minutes earlier.
Will we print out hard copies of
Bulletin articles? Not very likely.
Of course, this decision
is part of a trend, and the
College has held out longer
than many other organizations
and publications. I fear that the
College is, in effect, abandoning
a generation of surgeons,
but then, those surgeons do
not represent the future.
Edward Z. Walworth, MD, FACS
Statement on OR attire
I was surprised by the content of
the American College of Surgeons
“Statement on operating room
attire,” published in the October
2016 Bulletin. Although few
surgeons would have argument
with the general principles
espoused in the guideline, I
think we do a great disservice to
our female colleagues (growing
in number and many of whom
appear regularly as authors in the
Bulletin) to characterize the skull
cap as symbolic of the profession.
In my local hospital, I see
disposable skull caps most
often worn by wanna-be
surgeons—some of them
perhaps aspiring residents, but
many not physicians at all.
Personally, as a cardiac
surgeon I have always worn a
disposable nurses’ or bouffant cap
to maximize coverage, hoping
to minimize the impact of my
personal grooming, whether or
not there exists evidence that
leaving hair or ears uncovered
contributes to wound infection.
Let’s move into the 21st
and more common sense.
Peter West, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara, CA
FEB 2017 BULLETIN American College of Surgeons
Letters to the Editor