So especially towards the end of the rotation, myself and the other med students on my team sometimes opted to scrub in on the shorter rather than the longer cases when there was a choice (thyroidectomy? sign me up!) - not because we were slackers (ok, a little because we were slackers), but because we were starting to get stressed about our surgery shelf exam and wanted that extra time to be in the library studying.
|literally could be anyone
He obviously did not notice me, as he was there to help with the case, and went immediately to the open body in front of him. Plus I'm in a gown, face mask, and shower cap - no one exactly looks like themselves in the OR.
|it was him the whole time!
So they're operating away, and I'm retracting away, and the chief resident is standing to the side looking sullen because his surgery was stolen, and every time there was a silence I opened my mouth to announce myself, but then chickened out and didn't say anything. Was it silent because they were concentrating, and if I spoke the patient would die, or was it actually a good time to interject? I started and stopped myself at least a good five times. The more time that went by, the more awkward I felt, because the longer it went on, the weirder it was for me to not say anything.
The biggest problem, besides timing, was how to phrase the sentence. Everyone in the room obviously called him Dr. Shmoe, but I have never once in my life called him anything but Joe. So would it be weirder to call him Joe and have everyone in the room be like uh, who does this med student think she is? Or weirder to be overly formal? I KNOW, serious problems right?
Finally both the attending surgeons stepped back as a third surgeon went in to do her thing (there were some non-GI components to the surgery, so another specialist was there to deal with those). So finally I had my opportunity, and I said, "Hi Joe, I didn't want to interrupt before but it's Elena." And then I could finally stop feeling awkward, and the inside of my head could stop exploding, and the rest of the surgery was great. The best part was that the first thing he said to me was, "How's your car doing?" because not that I think my chief resident would ever think I lied about that, but it's always good to have proof that I didn't.
|some of the things I got to see