The Blame Games: Surgeons Vs. Anaesthesiologists

Disclaimer: The following few paragraphs are only for cheap laughter and a few extra likes. I have worked with terrific surgeons and I’m proud of the fact that they work with us as a team for the greater good of patients. To quote Maroon 5, “it’s not always rainbows and butterflies it’s compromise that moves us along”, or to quote SRK, “Saans me teri, saans mili to, mujhe saans aaye…”. OK that last one came out wrong. 

According to scientists at renowned research universities like Cosmopolitan and GrehShobha, there are multiple types of relationships, each with a certain quality or lack of it for its participants. Now I haven’t read those magazines (and wouldn’t have accepted it even if I had), but I would like to provide a broad classification of relationships along with examples:

1. Symbiotic.

Both partners gain something out of the relationship. Example: your class teacher and your mother at your monthly parent-teacher meeting.

2. Parasitic.

One gains at the expense of other. Example: Arvind Kejriwal’s relationship with New Delhi.  

3. Sado-masochistic.

Involves violent conduct by one over other involving gratification of both. Example: Every guy’s relationship with his right hand until some unfortunate accident occurs. 

4. Fictional/Imaginary.

Example: My relationship with Mia Khalifa

5. Platonic.

Every relationship involving crying buckets of tears after hearing “I like you but only as a friend”. 

6. How the hell did that happen?

Example: Nargis Fakhri and Uday Chopra.

Hence, after a year and a half in Anaesthesia, because of having seen too many Star Plus advertisements on Hotstar, I tried to find out Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai between an Anaesthesiologist and a Surgeon. 

If one is stereotypical about assessing their counterparts, surgeons would think of us as ‘tea-drinking video game addicts who read 1001 ways to cancel a case as textbook’. That is nowhere near the truth. I mean not completely. Most of my friends don’t read any textbook. We learn anaesthesia the way Rahul Gandhi learns politics: “Monkey see, Monkey do”.

The things that we get blamed for depends on the field of expertise and temperament of the surgeon. The calm general surgeons blame us for cases getting postponed. The hot-headed ones blame us for almost everything: from the appendix being out of position to global warming to why Abhishek Bachchan is still getting movies. The gynaecologists blame us for not reaching their ward within 7.38 seconds of keeping the phone down after their call.  Orthopaedic surgeons blame us for caring about petty issues like lack of signs of life in a patient when they’ve got a fracture to reduce. Eye and ENT surgeons do not usually complain, except the odd episode when we are an asshole for tapping on their professor’s shoulder and calling him Technician Ji.

Our response to the allegations also varies with our assessment of their threshold for a valid argument. To the surgeons, we usually go with “it is needed for the safety of the patient” for whatever we might have asked for before that, from Liver function tests to a random tea break at 3AM before the next case. With the orthopaedic surgeons, we usually argue till they have agreed to our demands or complained to our head, whichever comes first. With gynaecologists, we remember their stories and bitch laugh about them over alcohol, which makes for one of the most ironically fun feminine activities ever. 

The truth is that we need to coexist no matter how much we may disagree with each other, because there is money in removal of gall-bladders and babies, and the concept is similar to ‘Baniya arranged marriage’ concept of North India. All said, a surgeon and an anaesthesiologist is still a better love story than Befikre. Or was it Twilight?


About Ankit Sharma

Doctor and Drummer in making... Movie-buff since birth.
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