Tuesday, March 16, 2010
part of the job is to treat some unsavoury people. sometimes you know what it is they have done. mostly you don't. sometimes you even may make a difference. but mostly you just do your job. after all it is not our part to play judge and jury (and, in our case, executioner). but recently i heard a story from some fellow surgeons about one of their colleagues that i'm sure creates a warm fuzzy feeling in the hearts of all south african surgeons.
i can attest to the fact that after a long night on call your general mood is usually not the best it can be. also it becomes more difficult to see the humour in situations that on a normal day you might be able to laugh off. so when this particular registrar finally wrapped up his post call work and meandered off to his car to go home he was not delighted to find someone busy stealing it. he did what any south african surgeon would want to do in his situation...he shot the guy.
the person in question was, however a surgeon, so his training kicked in. they were already at the hospital so all he needed to do was drag the punctured villain to casualties and get him ready for theater, which is exactly what he did. despite the fact that he was post call, he even took the time to operate the guy himself. i suppose he had the best idea of the tractus of the bullet?
i can just imagine how the post operative ward round went when he presented the case to the prof. how would he have worded it?
"well prof, i shot the guy and then i did a laparotomy. well you always told us we should actively look for work to do if we wanted to get experience."