“Look at every path closely and deliberately, then ask ourselves this crucial question: Does this path have a heart? If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.” ~Carlos Castaneda

Thursday, July 10, 2008

I am the boss of me ...

William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,

I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

We are well into another July. Like all of the previous years, nothing seems to change except my age. The residents switch over and ascend to their new status: interns to residents, juniors to chiefs. Everyone is in their new role, but my role stays the same.

In this new academic year, I continue in my role as surgeon educator ... lecture, clinic, surgery. I am a team player. If my partners as for help, I am there. I have a difficult time "dumping" on others, instead "I suck it up". Again, I am a team player.

I try to model for my residents what I feel are good characteristics of an orthopaedic surgeon. Giving them insight into errors I and others have made in both thought and technique. I model characteristics I hope that they will pass on to those behind them and utilize in their practices. It is my way of giving back in homage to those who spent that time on me.

Today, I sit in my office after 7 waiting for a case and I am not on call. Why? I feel it is the right thing to do for the patient. On the other hand, my all of resident have gone home. I guess I can't expect that they too would feel the need to stay, but I can still hope.

So, I continue to model.

“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
~Albert Einstein


Chrysalis said...

Make sure not to pay a price in balance. I have a dear friend suffering with their choice of patients over family...it is a balancing act one needs to find in order to answer both the call, and their ability to have those they love nearby to fortify and encourage them.

BridgetM said...

One of the more frustrating and educational experiences in life is to be a good human being in hopes that those attributes will rub off on those around you. Frustrating because they sometimes don't rub off and educational because you learn more about your character and those around you (which can lead back to frustrating and frankly disappointing). It is hard to break away from feeling responsible for what others do when you care.

This posting reminded me of one of my favorite quotes (posted on my fridge):
"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."
~Marcus Aurelius

I am always moved by your postings. 'Invictus' hit home with me today - perhaps it's because I am starting my own "New Year" (post 36th bday). Thank you, Aki.

Wide-eyed & Hopeful,

make mine trauma said...

Aki, how have you been?
Unfortunately, it seems you can't teach work ethic to someone over the age of 18.
I too try to impart my standards on others (as a mentor for new scrub techs) but I am finally learning that others either have it or they don't. That is to say that my example will not change their behavior. All it does is frustrate me and make me a little bit angry!
It must be even much more frustrating in your role as educator. But, as I am sure you have experienced, there are those who you have modeled that shine through and make you very proud to have been a part of their path. So, you are right, there is hope.

Midwife with a Knife said...

Your residents are allowed to go home while there are still cases waiting to go? I mean... seriously? REALLY? That just seems so weird to me.

That never would have flown where I was a resident. Although we would pitch in and round for whoever it was who had to stay late.....

Nurse and Hospital Stories said...

"So, I continue to model."

haha. and those people that are watching you are already gone. That is indeed a true model, eh. Love this post.

Thanks for sharing,
Peny@Baby phat scrubs