Agraphia Medical Tragicomedy


It’s the little things

I just had a flashback to this summer in the interventional radiology operating room.

My attending was watching two residents perform surgery from behind the lead-lined glass (and in the IR area, since massive doses of radiation are given out like candy, any excuse not to be in the room is legitimate. In this case, he was letting the resident "spread his wings"). With a wink, he handed me a CD and told me to put it in the stereo.

The residents were currently working in silence. I had just been ordered to play my attending's music compilation... but since he hadn't told the residents, it was for all intents and purposes my music. The kicker? The first song was Britney Spears' Toxic.

As stupid as it sounds, I was terrified. I was essentially about to interrupt two surgeons performing excessively intricate surgery. How loud do I play the stereo? The residents, as far as they knew, were being treated to Ms. Spears' (pre-babies, of course) musical stylings by some punk medical student.

It's silly, but I actually remember thinking that this was the scariest decision I had ever made. My hand was shaking as I put in the CD and adjusted the volume. I was sweating underneath my scrubs. I think I mumbled "courtesy of your attending" to try to divorce myself of the situation, but honestly, I can't remember. It should be mentioned that I am by no means a shy person. All of this over some music. Lets be real here, if someone played Toxic in my OR I'd be stoked*... and probably ask them to crank it up.

The best part of the story is that the patient, under conscious sedation, groaned "ugh, I hate this song" as soon as I turned it on.

*I am, in fact, rocking out to Britney right now as I relive the experience. Dont'cha know that you're toxic?

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  1. In one of the 1st surgeries i ever watched, 4 male surgeons were listening to Kelly Clarkson. It was hilarious!!

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