This ethnography about the culture of surgeons describes how and why they differ significantly from other physicians. Rising from humble roots as lower class uneducated itinerant barbers, the profession has evolved into one of the most prestigious in America, one that utilizes the most sophisticated technologies in medicine. Surgeons have nonetheless retained many aspects of their historical culture, such as their proclivity for quick decisions, surgical "cures," and their detachment and aloofness from patients and other physicians. This book describes in detail what surgeons actually do in and out of the operating room. It reveals how they think about disease, patients, and other physicians; how their thinking is often non-scientific; how they make decisions; and how they keep secrets from patients and colleagues. Dr. Katz obtained unprecedented access to a group whose culture-ways of thinking and behaving-has been inaccessible to the public and to other physicians. The surgeons were extremely open and candid, giving her continuous access to them for months, allowing her to take copious notes on her observations, and giving her their unguarded trust throughout the study.