A friend sent me an book excerpt today from The Wall Street Journal-- from a book called Confessions of a Surgeon, that's apparently coming out tomorrow.
"Get this thing out of my operating room!" The colon stapling device exploded into pieces when I hurled it against the operating room wall.
Basically seems like the stereotypical surgeon. A bunch of the comments on the piece are either (a) What a mean guy, I don't want him operating on me, or (b) Oh, nothing like that would ever happen in my hospital, at least not in the present day.
I don't know. (a) I don't know if I care so much about how nice a surgeon is, as long as he's good at what he does, and (b) Maybe they don't throw things, but they definitely still scream.
It may be silly, but I think bedside manner does matter a lot more on the medicine side than surgery. They're not forming relationships with patients, they're not following them through the entire course of treatment, and certainly not for months and years and decades. They're technicians, in large part. They need to be good at the specialized skills they practice and when they're dealing with you, it doesn't matter if they're screaming, because you're under anesthesia anyway. "Seems like a surgeon" isn't a compliment, if you're talking about someone's personality. The personality to want to be surgeon is like the personality to want to be an investment banker. You are important, you are skilled, but it's about adrenaline and power and technical skills, not necessarily about comfort and hand-holding and relationships. There are exceptions, sure. Personally-- and obviously this is a generality, since I've read a lot of terrific books by surgeons-- I'd rather read a book by someone on the medicine side than a surgeon, because I'd expect it's more likely they have feelings. The excerpt in the WSJ neither shocked not surprised me. I guess it only surprised me that so many people commented on it, and were in fact surprised. Then again, if I could figure out how to get 351 comments on a post over here....