Book review – Cutting it: real-life tales of general and vascular surgery

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Author: Kevin Lafferty
Publisher: Powerhouse Publications, 2021
ISBN: 978-1838349004 Price £7.73

Heart failure - BJC Learning programme
For healthcare professionals only

This book is a rolled up scroll of ‘Carry on doctor’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘MASH’, perfectly blended to delight, educate and entertain the reader. For a surgeon, the book is like holding up a mirror to your own experiences. For medical students, I think it should be a mandatory text, if only to remind us that medicine should be enjoyable.

It had me laughing from page one, from the author’s decision to do medicine, right through his medical school days, all the way through to success, when he landed a consultant post in a dream job.

Kevin Lafferty doesn’t hold back on personalities, specialties or the ivory towers that were once London medical schools. He takes us through the various changes that took place around the profession during his time in practice and asks serious questions as to what has been lost and gained.

There are brilliant insights into anatomy, physiology, histology and surgery, which are genuine treasures. He uses beautifully phrased prose to describe the traditional camaraderie of medical training but also the stresses, strains and loneliness of responsible decision-making on the spot.

Having worked with him through the years, he earned the highest accolade of being a legend in his own hospital. He is much missed to this day by his colleagues but – most importantly for him – by his patients.