Friday, January 19, 2007


Do you ever have those moments when you feel completely and utterly inept? Like you are an extra puzzle piece that somehow has to fit into the picture? The other day on my Trauma Surgery rotation at BigWhig we had a fairly bad pediatric case. I wasn’t scrubbed in the OR at all, but I was there in the back watching. There must have been twenty people in the room fighting for this little one for hours. Several different surgical subspecialties were involved in this case and you had attendings as well as chief residents scrubbed in. It was a full blown effort on a somewhat hopeless situation. And I just stood in the back and watched. It feels wrong somehow to have been witness to this tragedy on such an intimate level with having no real role in it. I felt like an intruder in the OR and yet I was supposed to be there, I was told to be there. I was supposed to learn something from this situation, gain some nuance on how to be a better doctor, or simple be able to more succinctly describe a situation to a layperson. Maybe I will someday, but now all I have clearly from this case is an image of interosseous lines and rapidly decompensating vitals. I guess I also have just a deep sadness about what happened and I don’t know what to learn from it or do with this piece of the puzzle right now.

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