Intended for healthcare professionals


A surgeon’s hands

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 04 August 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g1892
  1. Mai Rostom, specialist trainee year 3 plastic surgery, Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, Foresterhill Road, Aberdeen AB25 2ZN, UK
  1. motsar{at}

I remember when I was a young and budding doctor; people would look admiringly at my hands, smile knowingly, and say “you have the hands of a surgeon.” This was a wonderful compliment­; it generally meant you had elegant hands, long nimble fingers, and soft, unblemished skin. They were not heavy labourer’s hands—surgeon’s hands were for delicate work, they were for making art . . . or so I thought.

Yesterday, five years later, after …

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