Sunday, March 13, 2011

empathy





while i am on the topic of the amazing ability surgeons have to show empathy, i thought i'd share a story one of my friends once told me about a professor he had in another university. but it also touches somewhat on where the priorities of a surgeon should be during surgery.


it was late at night and the prof was actually at the table operating (something so rare in our place of learning it also made me wonder if i'd maybe chosen the wrong university). it was in fact around the time when students struggle to stay awake. but on the whole it is not the best idea to display this weakness while scrubbed in with the prof.

the prof was the primary surgeon (something that made me glad i didn't choose that university), the registrar stood opposite him as the first assistant and some poor tired student stood next to the prof as the second assistant. i use the word stood in its loosest possible definition because he was struggling to remain in the upright position. every now and again he would slouch against the professor until in irritation the prof would thump his elbow into the student's ribs. this would result in a good five to ten minutes of good assistance from the student. thereafter his head would sag and come to rest once again on the shoulder of the prof. i'm sure it made a pretty and even touching picture. pity the prof didn't feel the same.

and so the operation went on with the student's sporadic moments of wakefulness and the prof's temper becoming equally short. finally the prof decided on another strategy. as the student's head once again sagged, looking for that warm and snug nook on the prof's shoulder, the prof took one large step back. the student's limp sleeping body found no comforting shoulder where one had been previously and went down like a ton of bricks, right in front of the feet of the prof. he then looked down at the dazed student lying at his feet, carefully stepped over him, back to the table and spoke.

"bring vir my 'n student wat nie stukkend is nie!"*

*bring me a student that isn't broken/defective

26 comments:

rlbates said...

lq2m

capgras said...

what is it Voltaire said about Medicine?

Jennifer said...

This was really interesting. I like your blog.

Congrats on getting Blog of Note. :D

SeƱorita said...

As a teacher, one should know when to challenge and to encourage and support. Poor student :(

http://ladyonaroof.blogspot.com/

Kalei's Best Friend said...

I am new to your page..Congrats on getting Blog of Note...
Never underestimate an animal...I do think they understand more than we know..

commoncents said...

CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING CHOSEN A BLOG OF NOTE!!!

I really like your blog!!!

Steve
Common Cents
http://www.commoncts.blogspot.com

Ruth said...

Congratulations on being a Blog of Note - that's how I found you! I enjoyed what I read so far - back to January. I think your writing is honest, and funny, and I love it. I will definitely be looking for more! (Not to put any pressure on your, or anything!)
:)

The Car Buying King said...

Great blog! For sure a blog of note. Congrats

Adam B said...

That scares me to death - that student should consider another profession??

SarahCidal89 said...

I love the picture!

http://sarahcidal89.blogspot.com/

epidural injection walnut creek, ca said...

Nice blog.........very interesting.....

A Daft Scots Lass said...

A SA Doctor that blogs....interesting...

Olavo Marques said...

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The Broad said...

Nice blog and writing. Congratulations on receiving well-deserved attention. Your story is funny and disturbing at the same time as it's all too true everywhere.

Vanilla Mama said...

Love the picture! Congrats on blog of note - I am now a follwer. I have a cousin who is in medical school and has made several mission trips to Sudan and South Africa. Thanks for the work you do!

Kenneth Mooney said...

that picture is hilarious haha. check out my blog!

Stephanie said...

A little German thrown in at the end...always nice!

Bongi said...

stephanie, that is not german. that is afrikaans.

Cat said...

Hahaha, what a great story. I empathize with all parties involved, especially because I feel like I am always sleepy. I suppose that's why I'm not a surgeon.

This is a brilliant entry in a brilliant blog. Congratulations on your blog being a Blog of Note! I greatly look forward to future posts!

cassy said...

Congrats on making blog of note! Love this post and the picture is adorable. Thanks for sharing.

http://cassylately.blogspot.com/

Surviving the Journey of Life said...

That was a fantastic post! Good for the professor. Congratulations on being chosen as a "Blog of Note," that drove me to your blog and I'm enjoying the posts I am reading!

http://mytaleoftriumphandsurvival.blogspot.com/

Markio Wright said...

This blog is quite interesting indeed

Karl said...

great post.

anne said...

The hours between 2:00 and 5:00 are the hardest. Great Story!

lilybug said...

It happened to me not so long ago. I was the House officer on call and had a very long day. At 2 am, I was called to OR to assist the on-call surgeon with an emergency laparotomy. But he was kind though. A few times I actually dozed off on his shoulder he just gently elbowed me. At the end, he decided that each one of us should tell a joke to keep ourselves awake.

Nadia said...

Great Blog!

As a medical student myself, I have to say that I've never encountered such a thing myself! Even though, I've always wondered how surgeons could stand for such long hours operating without moving or even complaining about how their backs or feet hurt!