Improving medical students

Personality of a Good General Gurgeon

Posted by medliorator on April 7, 2008

Anal retentiveness. An absolute obsession with getting the details, and getting them right… You see, before I waltz into the room in my oh-so-comfortable shoes, I have

  • read the chart
  • read the old chart, if it exists
  • reviewed the x-rays
  • found the lab results
  • talked to the referring physician
  • had a few martinis cups of coffee

In the OR, no stone can go unturned, no potential problem left unexplored. This is true for routine, as well as complex and emergent surgeries. And then, for the truly ill patient, all sorts of things need to be tended to after surgery— and a general surgeon must rely on his or her own self, not abdicating things like looking at all of the labs or X-rays to other consultants that may be involved. This is where the “meticulous, parsimonious, and obstinate” personality comes to the forefront.


Pucker. Attention to detail. Rechecking the anastomosis before closing. Calling to check on the sick postop patient, even though you are not on call and you know full well that your partner, who is on call, is perfectly capable of dealing with anything that arises. Answering pages.

Pucker [Aggravated DocSurg]

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