Editorial  |   April 2014
It Isn’t Necessarily What We Say, But Rather How We Say It
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D.
    ASA NEWSLETTER
    Editor
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Critical Care / Education / CPD / Editorial
Editorial   |   April 2014
It Isn’t Necessarily What We Say, But Rather How We Say It
ASA Monitor 04 2014, Vol.78, 4-5.
ASA Monitor 04 2014, Vol.78, 4-5.
My January 2014 NEWSLETTER editorial considered the three “A”s of being a successful anesthesiologist: availability, affability and ability.1  Cutting across all three of these A’s is the interplay of the anesthesiologist with patients and other health care providers. Let’s name that interplay what it really is – communication. And then let’s look at how communication actually acts with and upon the character traits of a successful anesthesiologist.
The first A of the successful anesthesiologist is availability. That editorial in January described an anecdote about my early practice. It briefly described how my unavailability to a particular surgeon ended my practice with that surgeon. When I was not immediately available, on a day that I was on call to cover his procedures, he never again requested my services. In the past five years, it has been my undesirable responsibility to mention to residents that being late for work is not tolerated. They hear me talk about how, in the future, if they work for a private practice and they are late for work, that the surgeon will tell those running the anesthesia practice never to pair the anesthesiologist with him or her again. They hear me talk more about how this will limit the manner in which the anesthesia group can schedule them within the greater practice. And then they hear me talk about how that one act may be the difference between them receiving a continued contract with that anesthesia group. What they have not heard is that I lived this same experience, through my own decision, when I was in my solo practice. Perhaps I’ll add that latter fact for effect when the future finds me having to repeat this discussion with a trainee.
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