Letters to the Editor

Editor’s note: The following comments were received regarding recent articles published in the Bulletin.

Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address, e-mail address, and daytime telephone number via e-mail to dschneidman@facs.org, or via mail to Diane Schneidman, Editor-in-Chief, Bulletin, American College of Surgeons, 633 N. Saint Clair St., Chicago, IL 60611.

Letters may be edited for length or clarity. Permission to publish letters is assumed unless the author indicates otherwise.

Bulletin transition to online publication

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
Lewiston, ME

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 century—fewer symbols and more common sense.

Peter West, MD, FACS
Santa Barbara, CA

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633 N. Saint Clair St.
Chicago, IL 60611


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