After recently debunking some medical myths, I thought it only fair to spill some secrets that most surgeons don't want you to know. I have to tread lightly here, because what I'm about to tell you might get my licence revoked.
Ok, there's a remote chance that maybe that could possibly be a slight exaggeration.
1) We are not interested in your life story. I'm here to fix whatever problem you came in for, so please tell me everything about that. But I really don't care about how your Aunt Myrtle is doing or how many cats you have. Your primary doctor may care about what vaccinations you had as a child or how often you pee at night, but I just want to get the information I need and leave your room so I can get started fixing you, so please get to the point.
2) I have no idea when breakfast is actually served.
3) I hate seeing patients in my office. I went into surgery to fix stuff, not to sit behind a desk and do tedious paperwork while wearing a suit. I'd much rather be fixing something or banging my head against the wall or sticking hot pokers in my eye than doing office hours.
4) There are thousands of medical conditions, and sometimes we can't remember one or haven't heard of Whatever-You-Have Syndrome since medical school. Dr. Gregory House doesn't actually exist, so sometimes we have to google it.
5) We see you completely naked during surgery, and we talk a lot while you are asleep. If you have stupid tattoos, we will see them. It isn't because we don't like you, but if you have "YOLO" in big letters across your chest or "The Pleasure Zone" with an arrow pointing to your vagina (yes, I've seen these), we will talk about them.
6) Whatever embarrassing problem you think you have, we've seen it (and much worse) before.
7) We really do treat everyone the same. Whether you're a homeless guy off the street or a CEO in an Armani suit, Ferragamo shoes, and a Rolex watch, you will get the same surgery, the same pain medicine, the same postoperative treatment, the same everything. I don't care who you are - you are NOT getting more narcotics or any special treatment compared to the poor guy next door with the same problem no matter who you threaten to call.
8) Obesity makes surgery much more difficult in every respect. Your risk of every possible complication is higher, and we dread operating on you because of that.
9) I have no idea how often the curtains in your hospital room get washed, but they are probably dirtier than the toilets and the floors combined. Don't touch them. In fact, don't even go near them.
10) For people who demand certain narcotics or tell me that you need antibiotics when I know that you don't, I wish I could give you a shot of saline and tell you it's actually medicine just to get you to shut the hell up. I've actually fantasised MANY times about doing just that, but I'm told it's an "ethical violation" to lie to a patient like that.
Can any of you other medical types (emergency personnel, nurses, internists, emergency physicians, pharmacists, medical students, etc) think of any others I missed? Please email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll do a followup.
This is top secret stuff I just divulged, so I hope you appreciate my taking this risk of revealing them.. If this update disappears and there are no more blog updates after this, that means "they" found me.