Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Rule Number 10

I will begin with a caveat. I mean no disrespect towards my surgical colleagues with the following rant, I have an excellent working relationship with the vast majority. Having said that, today I was unfortunate enough to work with one of those despicable characters who believe that the Sun rises from their derrière (pardon the rude language). He is nearing pension and is of the generation of surgeons who sincerely believe that mere mortals should bow down and bask in the glow of their specialness. They do not recognize the fact that surgery today is a team effort, and no matter how good a surgeon is, he/she can't do magic without the supporting staff, period.

Today's prima dona was of the aforementioned species. This particular surgeon entered the OR all fire and brimstone, bitching and moaning about the floor being crooked, the current generation of residents having no work ethic, why aren't the lights adjusted correctly over the surgical field, blah, blah, blah, blah, ad nauseum.  (I'm thinking, "Oh shut up and operate already!") He had an attitude with a capital "A" and no one, but no one was beyond censure.

At some point during the operation, the muscle relaxant wore off and just as I was about to inject another dose he started complaining.  I replied that I noticed and was in the middle of the injection.  He responded with, "A good anesthesiologist would have noticed long before." The Bastard.

I saw red. Nobody, but nobody, talks to me that way. I have a couple of good retorts for supercilious jerks. However, I was taught to be polite to my elders. Besides, the Talmud urges us to show respect for our elders (even if they are total cruds).  I firmly told him that insulting me was unnecessary and I could find him a different anesthesiologist to work with.  He settled down after that.

Fret not dear readers, I will shortly expose my famous comebacks.  These are usually reserved for surgeons who habitually fail to show me proper respect. These are not cases of treppenwitz.  These have been used in real time.  I believe in humility, but I will not back down and meekly accept insults from such bullies.

Response number one:
     I'm sorry, I'm an excellent anesthesiologist, wait just a moment and I'll get you a merely  good one.

Response number two aka Rule #10:
     A surgeon is assigned the anesthesiologist he/she deserves.

I like the sound of that, me thinks to have that copyrighted. So:
All rights reserved to me.


rlbates said...

I love it!

The Girl said...

Nice. :)

I have noticed that in our hospital, the anaesthetists seem to be the only ones with the power to make the surgeons wake up to themselves a little. I don't know if you realise this, but you are the heroes of the allied health world. None of us could say those things without getting killed. :P

Chrysalis said...

You handled that perfectly. First, to put him on notice, you are to be treated with respect.
Second, to offer him up another anesthetist. If he doesn't want a trade, he'll pipe down; if he wants a trade, then that frees you of him.
Coworkers make all the difference in a work place.

Lioness said...

Eh, fo with 1st one, 2nd one makes it sound like you're putting the both of you on the same plateau when he clearly is a - alright, am a tad at a loss now, you apologise for writing "derriere" and I cannot think of a single word I'd use here that would be acceptable by such standards, insert your own. [Also, how do you survive my pissy posts??] [Is it alright to say 'pissy'? Have a complex now!]

In my vet experience our surgeons are not complete beasts, it's more the lack of bedside manner in some - like the one who knew my dog did NOT have a brain tumour after all for a full 30 hours before I happened to ring him, happened to find him in his office and finally was told. Or the one who screamed at me because my range ºC for dogs was wrong since I'd missed a 0.1ºC. Oh wait, that's a tad beastly but they're mostly alright. Also, they're mostly women, does that play a role?

Go for the jugular with reply #1, no one is allowed to talk to someone else like that, the - ack! *self-censors*

Unknown said...

Lioness, the second response is a very subtle insult. Since the surgeon implied that I was a bad anesthesiologist, and assuming that Rule number 10 is true,ergo the he is a bad surgeon.
My apology for the word derrière was somewhat of a facetious apology directed to some of the more religious of my readers.
And finally, I love your pissy posts. I will admit that I never read them after having been on call. I need a full night's rest to be able to comprehend them. ;)

SeaSpray said...

I do that too ..after the fact.

Great comebacks tho. :)

I am surprised one doctor would be so rude to another since you are equals ..colleagues.

I thought that stuff was directed/vented on other staff ..but not physicians.

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