Editorial  |   October 2014
Musings on the Perioperative Surgical Home
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D.
Article Information
Cardiovascular Anesthesia / Editorial
Editorial   |   October 2014
Musings on the Perioperative Surgical Home
ASA Monitor 10 2014, Vol.78, 4-5.
ASA Monitor 10 2014, Vol.78, 4-5.
Several days ago, I was attending a collaborative meeting of transplant physicians, nurses, a pharmacist and hospital administrators. Two surgeons were present: a cardiovascular surgeon and a liver (and kidney) transplant surgeon. Also present were the medical directors of the lung transplant service (a pulmonologist) and the kidney transplant service (a nephrologist). I was representing the anesthesiology teams that cover all the various transplant procedures. We were gathered to come up with a better way to communicate – from the medical directors and surgeons to the anesthesiologists – the various immunosuppression therapy regimens required for each patient.
As the discussion was under way, one of the medical directors made the comment that physician anesthesiologists were like nurses. I must admit that I was flabbergasted. I disagreed, replying that, no, we practiced medicine, like all physicians. The medical director tried to clarify his statement by adding, “You know, you give medications, just like nurses.” Again I replied, wishing something more cutting would come to my mind, “Yes, we give medications. But in doing so, we are physicians practicing the art and science of medicine.” When I later mentioned this conversation to a friend, he said, without missing a beat, “We are the only physicians who can give medicines without having to order a nurse to do so.” I’ve been doing this too long to really take this as an insult.
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