What should surgeons never do
How to be McDreamy? - What really makes a surgeon
Profession or vocation?
Every profession has more or less romanticizing ideas. And every young person in our society has to decide at some point which profession to take up. At this point in time, your own professional experience can of course not yet or hardly be incorporated into the decision. On the other hand, the clichés and stereotypes from series and anecdotes dominate above all the ideas of young people in society.
Some students would like to become a surgeon and be able to operate. Is there anything special about it? Is that a job that everyone can easily choose? When should one aim for this profession and when not?
Why does the question arise, why does someone want to become a surgeon? As well, of course, as to whether someone wants to be a good surgeon. It is also always meant when only the masculine form is used in the following for the sake of legibility.
How do you become a specialist in surgery?
Of course, all specialists must first become doctors and study medicine.
Anyone who then wants to become a specialist in surgery takes a long and arduous journey.
Knowledge and skills are acquired over many years. Comprehensive further training and additional qualifications are necessary so that in the end a surgical specialization and specialist qualification can be achieved.
Is there a difference between surgeons and other specialists?
Does the surgeon differ from other specialists? Is there a difference in character from other specialists who have put the same amount of time and effort into further training? Are specialists interchangeable with one another in terms of their character if one thinks away from specialized knowledge and skills?
Cardiologist versus gynecologist, pediatrician versus ophthalmologist, radiologist versus urologist and pathologist versus surgeon?
Passion, devotion and love for his job are certainly common to all good medical specialists, it is not.
But is there something that all surgeons have in common, but which differentiates them from other specialists? Maybe something that goes beyond a flat cliché? Something that, if it is missing, means that a student or doctor is more likely not to end the path to becoming a specialist in surgery?
Are there any qualities that are closely related to the surgeon profession?
Certainly. Certain characteristics are necessary to perform surgery.
Medical students who have these qualities find it very easy to get into surgery.
And on the other hand, surgery first awakens enthusiasm in other students and allows the surgical properties to develop and grow.
In the next paragraph the surgical properties are mentioned. You can see immediately that the question arises as to who actually fulfills these requirements and who can become a surgeon. And you can see that it is therefore more of a calling than a profession.
Character and constitutional requirements
The high quality of the following properties together make a good surgeon.
Approach to action
A surgeon intervenes at the right time
A surgeon always assesses disease states in terms of the need for long-term, medium-term or short-term surgical intervention. It is important for him to recognize whether and when to act. A doctor is never more valuable than when, on the one hand, he can recognize that an operation must be carried out quickly and courageously and then he also has the knowledge and ability to do it and, on the other hand, that he can also determine that his intervention is not necessary .
A surgeon himself brings about the result immediately
No other doctor works so directly on the patient and on changing a pathological condition as a surgeon. He uses instruments with his hands, on and in the patient's body, to directly and instantly restore a healthier condition.
Often times, the surgeon and patient can see or feel a result right away.
A surgeon works on a person's body
Major surgical interventions can sometimes be very frightening for laypeople and outsiders. It is a very unusual situation to act with your hands in the stomach of a fellow human being, to saw through bones, clamp off vessels and clamp the intestines together.
It may well be a hurdle or a challenge for some doctors to carry out these activities. But you can certainly get used to the initially unimaginable so well that at some point it feels completely normal.
The surgeon is responsible
A surgeon has to take responsibility for his often literally drastic decisions. The patient entrusts his health to his recommendation and the method of operation. The surgeon is directly responsible for the consequences of the operation, be they positive or unexpectedly negative as expected. Rarely does the advice of a doctor have such far-reaching consequences. It is also seldom that a doctor is so directly the cause of a change in a person's health as in surgery.
For this reason, a surgeon must always critically question the results of his decisions and actions. Against this background, comparison and discussion with other colleagues is important. This is what constitutes a surgeon's special responsibility.
A surgeon has to be spontaneous and flexible
Surgical illnesses often come on suddenly and violently. As a result, the skills of a surgeon are often required without any time planning being possible. The spontaneous readiness for a surgical emergency is a basic requirement for a surgeon. Both physical and mental flexibility are important here.
Unfortunately, the social environment has to adjust to the flexibility and spontaneity of a surgeon.
Unpredictable situations sometimes also arise during operations. This is due to the diversity of people, their previous history and situational peculiarities. Especially then a mental and technical flexibility is required, which leads to an equally good result. The ability to transform a completely new, perhaps accidental situation into a familiar one in an operation is what makes a good surgeon in particular.
A surgeon must have perseverance
Operations can take many hours, and the surgeon must not lose his strength, dexterity or concentration, neither as a surgeon nor as an assistant.
For example, placing stitches with millimeter precision for hours, keeping a camera steady and the retractor static are skills that make a good surgeon.
As a rule, it is not possible for a surgeon to take longer breaks, leave the operating table or even finish work when you get tired.
After a strenuous day at work, it is often the operations in emergencies during working hours - often at night - that bring a surgeon close to the limits of his physical capacity.
A surgeon has to be skilled.
No other doctor relies so much on the dexterity of his hands as a surgeon. Sensitive and practiced handling of the surgical instruments is an essential prerequisite for gentle and clean surgical technology. Strength, technique and precision are used with a different emphasis in each step of the operation and must therefore be well coordinated.
Of course, surgical skill improves with increasing experience and practice, but a budding surgeon should already have a good level of spatial imagination, manual coordination, fine motor skills and a feeling for the physical tissue.
A surgeon needs body control
Since surgeons are humans and not machines, endurance and skill are subject to external influences that a good surgeon must shield.
Your own tiredness, hunger, loud conversations, anger with colleagues, misunderstandings in the team, difficulties in the surgical procedure, the itching of the nose as well as other internal and external disruptive factors and adversities must not lead to the surgeon concentrating on the surgery and whose professional implementation suffers.
A surgeon has to be able to concentrate for a long time
Being able to concentrate at all times is an important skill of a good surgeon. Difficult surgical steps that have to be carried out particularly precisely and carefully, of course, require a high level of concentration. However, even supposedly simple surgical steps can deviate from the norm in different patients and the surgeon's full attention is necessary in order to recognize this at an early stage. Every experienced surgeon has seen that seemingly minor details have developed into relevant problems in the course of an operation.
The concentration must be present long before the skin incision. It is also about visualizing the patient and the part of the body to be operated on. Serious errors can occur if there is a lack of concentration, for example if a medication is forgotten before or during the operation.
Being able to apply a high level of concentration is just as important as being able to maintain this concentration for many hours. It is not at all easy, but it is an important prerequisite for a good surgeon.
A surgeon has to be humble and know his limits
Developing operational skills appropriately takes time and practice. Depending on the specialization and level of training, an operational necessity can exceed the operational ability and experience of a surgeon. When that happens, it puts the patient's health at risk.
Every surgeon needs to be well aware of his or her operational capabilities, but especially of his or her limitations.
At this point, a good surgeon has to show the appropriate humility and respect for the sick patient, especially with pronounced self-confidence, if he notices that an operation is beyond his abilities. He should then organize appropriate help and not dare to intervene out of false pride and arrogance that exceed his possibilities.
A surgeon has to cope with nervous tension
In certain constellations there is time pressure during operations. In these cases, for example, it is a matter of quickly stopping bleeding or quickly restoring blood flow to parts of the body. This is directly about the health or even the life of a patient.
The organizational or interpersonal pressure that can weigh on a surgeon is less dramatic.
A good surgeon must not allow himself to be disturbed or disturbed while operating. His mind should remain in a state that allows him to carry out the operation in a professional manner.
Surgery is teamwork
Every operation in an operating room requires the cooperation of many professionals. The surgeon, surgical assistant, instrument engineer, jumper, anesthetist (anesthetist) and anesthesiologist are the specialists who come together for an operation on a patient. In addition, there are the staff who are active in the preparation of the operation and in the care after the operation.
From this it is already clear that neither the surgeon nor any other individual within these interlocking fields of activity can claim to have performed an operation for themselves.
Nevertheless, as the surgeon, the surgeon occupies a leading position within the surgical team. It should motivate, coordinate and lead and thus enable the working team present to perform optimally.
For a well-organized operation and a professional process, a good surgeon needs appropriate communication skills. Knowledge of and interest in the processes in the fields of activity involved is also important. Sometimes information needs to be communicated at the right time, so it needs to be recognized.
This coordination of content and timing between the people involved in an operation works more harmoniously with increasing common experience and contributes significantly to a successful operation.
A surgeon exudes confidence
Since the surgeon, as the surgeon, is responsible for the treatment of the patient, the relationship of trust between the surgeon and the patient is very important, often more important than in other doctor-patient relationships.
Hence, a surgeon should allow the patient to easily build trust.
Transparency in recommendation processes, understandable language and open communication make this easier. Focusing on the patient's concerns and needs also builds trust.
Is McDreamy like a real surgeon now?
The stereotype of what a surgeon must be like, which one might be able to gain from television series, usually only picks out individual aspects of the surgeon's profession and exaggerates them. Logically, this can only lead to a considerable distortion of reality.
The above explanations show how important all these properties together are for a surgeon. This list is certainly not yet complete. Some of these characteristics and skills have to be trained over many years, which explains the long training period and the high demands placed on the surgeon.
And the list also makes it clear why women and men have absolutely equal rights in surgery, because weaknesses and strengths are obviously not gender-dependent in this professional area either.
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