I am inordinately pleased with myself, and much more optimistic about my future as a surgeon. After the blunders of the last week, something went very right. The chief and I found ourselves elbow-deep in a difficult case, and I was the one with the bovie. (Surprisingly, the junior person is often the one cutting, because the other surgeon needs to have their hands free to see and feel what’s happening and give directions.) The medical student was providing much-needed retraction (you guys have no idea how wonderful it is when you hold the retractors right, and we can really see what we’re doing), so I had both hands free to do surgery with. There was a difficult angle to get across, so for quite a while I found myself guiding a kelly (clamp) with my right hand, and using the bovie (electrocautery) - by now literally a foot long – with my left hand. It went a little slow, but I did the job nearly as well as I would have done with my right hand. I asked the chief later if there were any technical improvements I could make. He said he supposed some speed would come with time. I said yes, it was a little difficult using my left hand. He didn’t even realize I’d switched hands. So I’m happy; I can apparently use my left hand well enough that the awkwardness doesn’t show (title pun intended). And it was a big case; I was so thrilled to have been involved, even after I had to scrub out to go see consults, I was nearly skipping down the halls. But that would be indecorous and unprofessional, so I stopped myself when anyone else was in sight. I wonder what the security folks watching the cameras thought – escapee from the psych ward?

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