Since the introduction of the European Working Time Directive, the daily practice of the junior doctor on-call has changed. Junior doctors are now expected to cover surgical specialties of which they have had no experience. Ironically this is at the times of day when there is no immediate senior help at hand, which has left many doctors feeling exposed. This is a concise text that gives junior doctors the guidance that they need to cope with on-call emergency problems for both common and severe surgical disease seen in the emergency department, as well as specific ward-based problems that may occur. The Handbook for Surgical Cross-Cover is an invaluable guide to cross-covering surgical specialties out-of-hours and appeals to a wide readership, all junior surgical doctors (those below consultant grade), medical doctors covering surgical acute admissions, members of the hospital-at-night teams and medical students interested in learning more about the practical management of patients.