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The practice of general surgery requires a broad base of knowledge and skills that is not static or based solely on what is taught in medical school, residency, or fellowship. Surgeons must adapt and learn new information as well as have foundational knowledge reinforced regularly in order to be able to practice at the highest level of performance. This text was developed to assist the surgical resident, fellow, and practicing physician in learning new concepts, as well as to reinforce previously learned material in a manner that will promote retention and continued expertise.

During medical school and residency, surgeons-in-training often use many textbooks and electronic media to achieve a strong foundational knowledge of topics in general surgery. However, when preparing for certification examinations, other manners of studying are also beneficial. The practice of answering board-style questions improves skills in answering questions as well as forces the learner to confront their own knowledge gaps. The comprehensive nature of this text makes it an excellent resource for surgeons taking the American Board of Surgery written and oral exams or the recertification examination.

The first edition of this book successfully provided an all-inclusive source for review of the broad expanse of general surgery. The question and answer format with brief referenced explanations proved popular with surgeons looking for a single resource to study for certification examinations. This second edition builds on the success of the previous edition. We have designed and extensively edited the text to cover the breadth of topics that are potentially tested on the licensure examinations and sought authors for each chapter who have expertise and academic interest in the topics. The information emphasizes the clinical science, but also contains basic science, including physiology, anatomy, and pathology.

We were impressed with the caliber of work each author contributed to this second edition. It should be emphasized that this review is not a replacement for the study of fundamental general surgery textbooks and journals in building a fund of knowledge. Instead, we present this text as a valuable resource for senior surgical residents and young surgeons preparing for their licensure examinations as well as for the seasoned practitioner wishing to periodically review the field of general surgery.

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