The last few months have seen me being allowed to operate far more than previously. My performance in the OR seems to consist of occasional stretches of competency, mixed in with a good many more episodes of apparently completely failing to grasp what I’m being told to do.

So I rather enjoyed the other day, when, after about six hours of operating with one particular attending, we came to a crucial and difficult step, deep in the abdomen, close to the aorta. She was just starting to try to explain the maneuver, when I had a sudden flash of insight, and, building on a couple of moves she’d been trying to teach me all day, completed the step, much faster than either of us had anticipated. She exclaimed, “Where did you learn to do that?” “You taught me, earlier today.”

That was fun. Wish I could do it more often. Usually it’s a much slower process, with the attending repeating, “[unspoken: as I’ve already told you five times in this case] don’t move your hand like that, do it like this.”