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The book is a memoir of Douglas MacMillan’s experiences as a young surgeon in the 1970s. MacMillan describes his journey from medical school to training and becoming a consultant ENT surgeon.

He shares stories about his challenges as a young surgeon, including the long hours, the pressure to perform well, and the emotional toll of dealing with patients and their families, from 1966 in Brighton until he retired in 2014. It amazed me that five days post retirement, he was awarded a Doctor of Music from the Royal College of Music, London, a different type of RSM that medics are often unaware of!

Mr MacMillan also provides insights into the medical profession during the 1970s, including the attitudes and practices of surgeons at the time and the classical firm structure that I remember myself from when I started as a junior doctor. He discusses the changes in surgical techniques and technologies that occurred during his career and the impact of social and cultural changes on the practice of medicine.

MacMillan shares personal stories about his family, colleagues, and patients throughout the book, including his time outside of ENT. He reflects on the impact of his work on his personal life, including the challenges of balancing his career and relationships. Overall, Operate, Operate, Operate! offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of surgery in the 1970s and the personal and professional challenges faced by young surgeons at the time, without forgetting the immense rewards. A true pleasure to read.

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Raguwinder (Bindy) Sahota

MBChB MRCS(Eng) DoHNS(Eng), University of Nottingham and Nottingham University Hospitals, UK.

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