Monday, March 10, 2008

Why I Went Into Anaesthesiology

As I mentioned, I interviewed new prospective residents about a month ago.

I didn't ask people why they wanted to be an anaesthesiologist (instead I asked them why they thought it might be a bad idea to go into anaesthesiology). The stock answer to why they wanted to become an anaesthesiologist seemed to be something about being interested in the physiology and pharmacology involved with anaesthesiology.

That wasn't why I went into anaesthesiology.

One day during my clinical clerkship, I was "assisting" on an open cholie. "Assisting" involved retracting the right costal area with the infamous Deever retractor (eager beaver with the deever). This of course meant you couldn't see anything which was afterall the justification for you actually being in the OR. In addition because you couldn't see anything you couldn't see whether you were actually helping, which meant you were constantly being nagged about this with the volume and sharpness of the nagging going up as the case went on and your arms got tired. Plus in those days, it was actually acceptable to hit students which meant the odd rap across the knuckles with a needle driver.

Anyway I was in the midst of one these ordeals when I looked over the drapes. There was the anaesthesiologist sitting in his chair with his feet up, doing his crossword.

And I said right then, "that's got to be a good job!".

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