Jan 24, 2012

surgical small talk

There are many reasons for any medical practitioner to fall in love with the practice of surgery. Subconsciously, the short period of time when you have the patient’s internal organs on your finger tips – it is almost god-like. This could just be the main raison d'être for anyone to fall in love with surgery. Conversely, the fear of screwing up with all those bloody live human organs on your hands is partly the reason why others fell out of love with surgery.

The other small, tiny perk of surgery is that little small talk while one operates. Rarely, the patient would be awake to hold a conversation with you, ie conscious brain surgery or when patient only on local or regional anaesthesia.

If you are planning to undergo a surgery soon, make sure that you only go to a surgical clinic with staff who had attended surgical tech schools.

Here’s a small talk that I recently had, while assisting, inspired by the Chinese New Year song heard from the radio in OT.

Surgeon: So, the next year is Dragon Year, right?

Me: Yup. This year is Rabbit.

S: So fast came back to Dragon, I used to remember that the millennium was Dragon year.

M: Yup, luckily it’s Dragon, and not Dog,Rat or Rabbit. Like this year Rabbit, a lot of people bought rabbits, mainly for good luck, and then do not properly take care of the animals.

S: Hmmn. That’s bad. Good that it’s Dragon. They can’t buy Dragon, right?

M: Yup, they don’t exist to be bought.

S: How about other years?

M: There are Cow, Tiger, Snake, Horse… I doubt anyone would keep Cow or Horse.

S: So, what do they do during Tiger Year? They go for tiger show?

(Taken aback. Almost speechless. 2 minutes of pause)

M: Haha, no, they go to touch Tiger in open zoo or some temple in Thailand.

And that was the last surgery that I had taken part in before the year of the Dragon.

Happy Chinese New Year!!! Hope everyone have high-flying, wonderful Dragon year!!

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