One of the medical students, one week in to his surgical rotation, confided after rounds that he’d been shocked and disconcerted by the attending swearing copiously at my presentation about the first two patients, who’d had some significant setbacks overnight. Myself, I had simply been reassured that he was cursing at life in general and some consultants’ practices in particular, and was not blaming me for any of it; and as long as the cursing wasn’t directed at me, I wasn’t too upset. The effect of a year and half with surgeons, I guess.

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