I’m Sorry and an Unexpected Response


My mind wandered to the beginning of my day. Scrub, scrub, scrub. Two minutes on each side, the suds interspersed with the hairs on my arm. Rinse, rinse, rinse. Gown. Check, check, check. Time-out.Drape,drape,drape.Theentire scenewaspaintedacold, dreary, mechanical blue. A third-year medical student at the start ofmy surgery rotation, I was enjoying the comfortablemonotony of the operating room. The repetition, wariness to deviate from algorithms and the rigor of checklists all sought to approximate perfection in the treatment of patients. It was a place where the rules were different—the only place in the hospital where people walked through doors backwards. No one passing by our room to an adjacent OR would have noticed that five fingers were left uncovered. “Trigger finger release.” Check, check, check. “Scalpel.”

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1897-0

Cite this paper

@article{BA2011ImSA, title={I’m Sorry and an Unexpected Response}, author={MD Nilay Patel BA}, journal={Journal of General Internal Medicine}, year={2011}, volume={27}, pages={882-883} }