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Occasional ramblings by an anesthesiologist/mother (and sometimes her husband).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A tale of two surgeons

Sometimes, as an anesthesiologist, I start to feel a little under-appreciated. Many times, you get addressed as "hey anesthesia" because the person addressing you can't or won't remember your name. Now, I know that there a quite a few of us (residents) in our program and we rotate a great deal, but it's a little disappointing when you've worked with one surgeon almost exclusively for a month straight and they can't seem to call you by name. Maybe that's why I like OB anesthesia so much. I always get thanked when I put in an epidural - by the labor nurse, the patient, even the OB doc sometimes.

So I present to you about two surgeons I have worked with in the OR. Guess which one I like working with better.

Surgeon A is an orthopedic surgeon. He works at a busy hospital. I'm pretty sure he know my name. I know that his PA does. As is common for orthopedic cases, there are often drug reps in the room, who have been known to buy lunch. Usually I'm invited. One day, the surgeon decided he wanted some coffee. He asked his PA, the ortho resident, the circulating nurse, the scrub tech and the ortho med student what they wanted in their coffee. He did this while the case was going on and while I was in the room. Did he ask if I wanted coffee? No. Did I want coffee? No. But that's not the point. The point was how crappy that made me feel, he asked everyone in the room but me. That showed me where I stood on his respect-o-meter.

Surgeon B is also an orthopedic surgeon, but at a different hospital. The very first time I worked with him, he asked me my name. When he needs something, the table height adjusted, the patient re-positioned, etc, he asks me to do it by name. When the case is over all people in the room: residents, nurses, scrub techs, and yes, me. It shows me (and everyone else in the room) respect.

All anybody wants from their colleagues is respect. And nothing is more frustrating than being treated as a non-entity. Consider this a suggestion to all you budding surgeons, be more like Surgeon B and less like Surgeon A.


Blogger Kristen said...

Same goes for contractors. I'm the lone contractor in my office otherwise staffed by full employees. Similar to your coffee example, my officemates generally order pizza for lunch on Fridays. Now I'm not a big pizza fan, but that doesn't stop me from feeling ignored when I hear them going around asking what everyone wants on Friday and never even peeking into my cube in the far corner.


10:16 AM  

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