June 7, 2009

Community surgeon

The trenches, where the real tough, gritty work is done, aptly describes the daily life and work of a community surgeon. ENT (ear, nose, and throat) in my case. I add the description of ‘community’ surgeon to distinguish from academic surgeon, those who teach (and therefore have resident surgeons, ie those in training, available to do much of the daily grind) and have research obligations and in many cases have time and granted $$$$ to travel to conferences and workshops.

It is the private practice surgeon, responsible for not only their patients but also running a small business that I represent. Our trenches are the office exam room, operating room, emergency department, and in-patient floors. Our ‘normal’ workday begins early, ends late, and only leads into the evening and night hours that yield their own demands of urgent and emergency calls. Such calls respect neither weekend nor holiday.

But demanding as it is, the rewards of our trench work are many. Grateful patients and families who are cured of their disorder, respect of co workers and colleagues, generous compensation, emotionally satisfying labor.

It is these experiences of surgical labor and surgical life that I will present in this new blogging endeavor.

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