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Get the most out of your surgical experiences by doing this one thing:

Pretend that every surgery you participate in, you will have to perform the exact surgery by yourself later on that day.

Hear me out. Doing this completely shifts your perspective from passive observer to active participant. It also helps you to get a taste of the huge responsibility that comes with performing an operation.

Think about it. If today someone asked you if you were going to have to perform a surgery tomorrow night, and you would have the chance to observe it being done in the morning, it would completely change the way you would observe and participate in the case.


You would likely:

1-thoroughly read up on the pertinent anatomy, critical structures to avoid, not to kill/ permanently disable your patient

2- you would read the surgical technique beforehand, like if it was gospel.

3- You would try and polish up your suturing and tying to the best you can in 24 hrs.

4- You would observe that surgery in the morning like someone’s life depended on it. You would ask about every step every maneuver and why because if you had to actually do it next, you would need to know all these things!

No matter your role in the operating room, Think like a surgeon.

When you focus on the order of the steps of the operation, you run the risk for forgetting the order.

When you truly understand why each step needs to be taken at what moment in the surgery, you will never forget it.

If you have aspirations to work in surgery, whether as a PA, Nurse, anesthesiologist, surgeon, or any other capacity, you must learn to think like a surgeon.

The more you know about exactly what is happening and why in the sterile field, the better the patient care you will provide, before during and after the operation, and the more useful you will be on the team.


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