Making Joy

I headed into surgery clinic with a leap in my step and joy in my heart only to find that my partner was sick. This meant that I would be seeing his patients and mine. Well, the key to a busy clinic for me was to get right into seeing the patients. I secretly love getting people seen almost before the staff can get them settled in. I can type more than 60 words per minute (Thanks Mum) thus the electronic records move for me. I had orders flying, patients moving with a smile and things humming. I couldn’t stop smiling because I love seeing patients and solving their problems with joy. Since I am the newest member of our surgical group, it was great for my partner’s patients to get to know me and my sunny style.

I met many wonderful people who were just glad to have me take care of them. It also helped that I didn’t have a resident which allowed me to move along at my pace. Though I love to teach, sometimes is just great to do my own management without asking probing questions of my trainees. Don’t get me wrong, an extra physician in the clinic would have been great but our clinic was clicking with just me. My staff hugged me just before I left and admonished me for not stopping for lunch. I was too happy to eat.

I didn’t get behind schedule and was able to leave at noon to get to the college for my office hours. I had a couple of students who needed extra teaching in order to master the skill of endotracheal intubation (placing a breathing tube in the trachea). Both had spent more than a few minutes trying to convince me that they just couldn’t hold the scope in their non-dominant hands long enough to place the tube. “Nope, you are not going to talk yourself out of tubing this patient”, I told them. After some adjustments, both were fine and intubating the practice manikin without difficulty. We had a group hug and I moved up to my office to catch up with my pathology students who had  questions about the long list of blood diseases I had posted on my course website. Who can resist geeking out over the wonderful bone marrow slides that I love to scan?

It seemed that everyone I encountered either complimented me on my joyful outlook or on my sunburned/tanned skin (I ran without a shirt a couple of days ago). For me, coming to terms with my life of medicine/surgery/academics is the key to my serenity and joy today. My goodness, I think my positivity has returned and I am damned happy about that. Medicine is the best profession on earth and surgery is the most fun that one can have in a vertical position! I am very thankful to be able to help my patients and my students.


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