surgical assistant: jesus

4 Apr

Today was there was an oversight of which I was the beneficiary.  A resident was not assigned to the first surgery in my OR, so the attending pointed at me, “What’s your name?  Looks like you’ll be assisting.”  It was my fifth day in an OR and one of my favorite days of medical school so far.

It was a laparoscopic appendectomy complicated by a previous perforation.  Don’t worry, the surgical attendings here are so flippin’ talented, they would be just fine to have anything with a pulse be their assistant.  Still, instead of my usual 90% observing-10% retracting during a surgery (no complaints, it’s always a privilege), I felt like I was actually worth the air I consumed in the OR today.  I guided the camera, searched the abdominal cavity for other locations of infection, stapled, lassoed, and sutured.  There aren’t words to describe the rush of it.

After we closed and de-gowned, the attending went to sign off on the operative note.  After a few minutes she called everyone who wasn’t involved in the waking of the patient over and pointed to the top of the note that read:

Surgeon:    Dr. ————–                   

Assistant:  Jesus                                      

“I’ve never had Jesus as my assistant before; how many doctors can say they have??  I wonder what the family will think.”  I’m foreseeing this being a thing for the rest of my career, but it still makes me smile.

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