Would you make a good surgeon?

We all have different affinities for surgery.

We all have different affinities for surgery. Some love it, some hate it, and some have mixed feelings. Where are you on the surgical spectrum? Take the following quiz to find out.

Question 1: What is the best day to perform surgery?

A) How soon can you have the patient on the table?

B) Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

C) Any day that doesn’t end in Y

Question 2: How do you feel the day before a major surgical procedure?

A) Ecstatic! I wish it were tomorrow already

B) I hope it goes well. I’m nervous, but excited

C) I would never even do a major surgical procedure

Question 3: What do you think about while you’re scrubbing in?

A) I just can’t wait to use my new instruments

B) I review my approach and look at copies of a surgical book taped to the wall

C) The last time I scrubbed in was in veterinary school

Question 4: How do you feel when you walk into the OR?

A) It feels like home

B) I’m good to go and feel ready for an uncomplicated procedure

C) I feel like a cat in a room full of rocking chairs

Question 5: What is your favorite surgery?

A) The more challenging or unusual, the better

B) Uncomplicated and uneventful surgeries are my favorite

C) The one that cancelled

Question 6: What is the best surgical patient?

A) Any patient is a surgical candidate who doesn’t know it yet

B) A healthy and stable patient

C) The patient I just referred to a surgeon

Question 7: What is the most common thing you say to your surgery technician(s)?

A) Is the next one ready yet?

B) What do you think?

C) Have you filled out the referral form yet?

Question 8: What do you listen to while performing surgery?

A) Whatever my surgery nurses want

B) We all take turns

C) I don’t care. I’m never there

Question 9: What do you wear?

A) A surgical gown, a cap, a mask, and gloves

B) My street clothes or lucky scrubs

C) Scrubs are an insult to my intelligence

Question 10: What do you do or say when you stab yourself?

A) Please give me a new pair of gloves so I can finish my surgery

B) @&$(?)*$, this hurts like crazy

C) It’s probably best I fill out an incident report

Question 11: How bloody is your OR when you’re done with surgery?

A) Spotless and everything is disposed of properly

B) It depends on the procedure and how many times I missed the trash can

C) I don’t have an OR in my practice

Question 12: What do you do with your sharps after surgery?

A) I personally place them in a dedicated sharps container

B) My 10 blade is safely attached to my scalpel handle

C) To be honest, I’m deathly allergic to sharp objects

Question 13: How do you feel about educating your surgery nurses?

A) I like teaching my nurses something new every day

B) I teach them what they need to know and more if they’re interested in learning

C) That’s what continuing education is for

Question 14: How do you feel about educating your surgery nurses?

A) I use CRIs, blocks, strong opioids, NSAIDs—the works

B) An NSAID and tramadol should be fine

C) I leave it up to the clinician performing the surgery

Question 15: How do you feel about antibiotics?

A) Cefazolin should be given 30 minutes prior to skin incision and every 90 minutes while under anesthesia. Antibiotics are then sent home

B) It depends on the procedure

C) A subQ injection on admission, and usually nothing more

Question 16: Continuous versus interrupted?

A) Simple continuous as often as humanly possible

B) Simple interrupted as often as humanly possible, including on skin

C) I don’t understand the question

Question 17: What do you say when you leave the OR

A) You did a great job! Thank you so much for all your help

B) Are you guys good in here before I leave?

C) I have never entered an OR, so there is really nothing much for me to say

Question 18: Which television show character do you become when you enter the OR?

A) MacGyver

B) McDreamy, the hot doctor from Grey’s Anatomy

C)The invisible man, because I don’t enter the OR

Question 19: Who do you call once you’ve finished a long day of surgery?

A) My favorite colleague who also loves surgery

B) My mom to tell her the good, the bad, and the ugly related to the day’s events

C) My bartender, because there’s no way I won’t need a stiff drink after that surgical ordeal

Question 20: What is your ideal number of surgeries in a day?

A) The more the better

B) Three surgeries is ideal; it’s enough to keep busy, but not too many that it turns into chaos

C) Zero, zilch, nada

Question 21: What kind of pictures are on your phone?

A) A collection of tumors, surgical sites, and your best suture job

B) A mixture of family life and my most interesting cases

C) Cute puppies and kittens

Now that you have completed the quiz, review your answers and tally up the number of As, Bs, and Cs.

If you have mostly As, you love everything about surgery, and there is no such thing as too hard or too many. You would likely make—or you already are—a great surgeon.

If you have mostly Bs, chances are you enjoy surgery, but you probably don’t live, sleep, and breathe it. You like that it changes up your day. However, you wouldn’t want to do it all day, every day.

If your answers consist of mostly Cs, you don’t enjoy surgery at all. Whether it makes your palms sweat and your stomach queasy, or you just don’t have any interest in it, you probably would not make a good surgeon, so move on.

Phil Zeltzman, DVM, DACVS, CVJ, Fear Free Certified, is a board-certified veterinary surgeon and author. His traveling surgery practice takes him all over Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey. You can visit his websites at www.DrPhilZeltzman.com and www.VeterinariansInParadise.com. Kat Christman, a certified veterinary technician in Effort, Pa., contributed to this article.

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