Surgeons are above all else, highly trained specialists who do good by bringing us health via operations. They are human, however, and often times they have a weakness that will affect their ability to take as good care of you as someone else. Let us go over some of the tips you might want to consider in order to make the choice that works best for you.
First--know yourself! There are lots of personalities of physician out there, and some of them make a better 'fit' for you than others. Do you like Hi-Tech? Probably better to go for a surgeon fresh out of school to mid-career. How about Really Good Bedside Manner, that will Listen to You? For that you might want to go by word of mouth and friends. Yelp and other online resources may give insight to who you might be dealing with. Take what you find on the internet with a grain of salt, however. Some of the clinker comments may be from disgruntled patients. So if there is ONE really bad evaluation, and others that are favorable, you might want to give that doc a chance. Do you like everything to Go Like Clockwork, efficiency and order through your day? A non-trauma specialty at a hospital that doesn't do trauma would be where your chance is best to find it. Orthopedics. ENT. Not OB/Gyn or General Surgery--their schedules are constantly changing.
Get the idea?
Once you get to 'know yourself' in this manner, here are some basic personalities to look out for in the hospital. Especially the O.R.
The Surgeon Who Likes To Work Late:
Is your surgeon scheduling you for your operation late in the day? If you are an 'add on' case, someone who has an emergency and needed surgery today, no worries. You are going to be fine. But if your surgeon is planning ELECTIVE surgery (something optional or urgent, like a cancer), that isn't a really good plan. Think about it--where does everybody in the hospital go at night? They head home--the usual support and teams. Nights are much different in a hospital than days. Talk about basic minimum staffing, with the exception of Labor and Delivery because babies arrive 24/7 every day of the week.
The lesson of the Surgeon Who Likes To Work Late is, why are they scheduling you late in the day when the hospital shuts down? Do they need the money? Do they have a lot of places that they operate over town? Are they rested? Are they capable to do the surgery? And what about Anesthesia? When did they start their day? I wake up at four to get to work by seven. I go to bed at nine. Would you want me staying up until midnight taking care of you if you could help it? Would you want me to come back after only four hours of sleep and work on you the next day? I think you get the picture.
The Old Guy:
On the downhill slope of their career. Lots and lots of experience. Their techniques work, but your incisions might be a little bigger than they could have been with a newer technique. There is a Standard of Care, and just about everyone meets it, as surgeons. But like a mean with a standard deviation, there are people at one side and the other of the bell-shaped curve. Ask yourself 'do I want someone who falls alseep in the doctors' lounge at the drop of a hat and makes everyone wonder if they have a pulse?' to operate on me? They ARE perfectly capable, and would be thrown out of the hospital if they weren't. Yet wouldn't you want to KNOW that is what they do between cases? Sleep like Grandpa on the couch, sitting up, mouth wide open.
Sometimes I wonder why surgeons like this ever went into medicine? Wouldn't they enjoy it more if they slowed down the pace from frenetic to efficient? These are people who for some reason are not happy with the Status Quo--the way 90% of the other surgeons run their cases in the hospital. They either want an earlier start, or to move up their case, or to run two operating rooms at the SAME TIME!
Did you know a surgeon can do that? They have an extender, either a RN First Assist or a Physician Assistant to finish up in one room while they start the other. Some want THREE rooms for their cases. And start trying to rush the janitors while cleaning the room between cases. Isn't that an important function that no one would want to compromise, cleaning the room?
Surgeons like this are apt to skip steps. Some of those steps might be inside of you!
A surgeon who works primarily on Medicaid and Worker's Comp patients I know has a Lamborghini and lives in a three-thousand dollar a month apartment in the swanky part of town. The timer is DEFINITELY up on the Delayed Gratification that got them through training in the first place!
How can someone like that, who is placing priority on material wealth going to open up their heart and care for you? Hipsters often turn Rushy-Rushy and yell at everybody in their way when they deviate from schedule. They are not flexible in any way, shape or form. Know you have a Dr. Hipster and decide if that works for you. It just might, if you have something easy and want to just 'get in, get fixed, and get out of there!'
This one id depressive, cursing, and angry. They yell at everyone every day, all the time. The problem with this is that except for the anesthesia doc, the surgeon is out of line to show anger to someone outranked by him. Only equals may do this, and only in private. Do your homework and find out this one's rep directly from the O.R. They might be a pussycat in the office, and a terror the the surgical suite.
Tougher than nails, and have been through heck to get where they are today. Often are juggling commitments between family and work. More are more caring than the men and have excellent skills. My tend to run late in office (empathy! empathy!) but deliver excellent care.
These tend to think 'outside the box'. There may be a 'history', either public in the papers or private, of being 'a cowboy', that is going outside the usual and customary plan of care. They are either an Einstein or Curly Stooge. You never know by talking to them. The worst are very taken in by their work. Just research carefully, and if you want to go on a new-cutting-edge theme with them, just keep your eyes open while making your decision.
Often technically very good. You may not understand them when you talk with them, but most of the time their skills are very good.
P.S. I hope you enjoyed this one as much as I did. : )))
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