The most alluring and eye-beholding part of medical profession are its surgeries. Surgeries, ranging from a simple reduction of nasal fracture to highly skilled transplants has allured medical students from time immemorial. It stands the same for me. I look forward to all OT postings in whatever department I am posted in. But when you are a diminutive medical student, aka the Pygmies of hospital, there is not much you can do in an operation theater other than marveling at the costly and highly efficient equipment, instruments and equally efficacious and dexterous fingers of a surgeon.
Despite that, surgery postings, be it, the brutal-force employable Orthopedic surgery or ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ filled neurosurgery (Damn, I can’t do away with generalizations), have always excited me and awakened a philosopher, photographer, writer, magician, artist and everything but a surgeon in me. Narnia had a wardrobe, Hogwarts had platform nine and three-quarters, and we have our mysterious, preternatural changing-room. If ever there was a non-semantic usage of the word ‘Green room’ then it would be one for the men’s changing room in surgery. Of course, as much as I would like to know and detest at the same time that what happens inside ladies changing room and whether it looks like a setting for Alice in wonderland or Westeros on fire, I could not care less at the moment. As far as the look of our changing room goes, it looks as if a blizzard just blew through the middle of it and deposited everything green on this planet into this room. The chaotic ambience of this room would be a perfect competition for some of the rooms in boys’ hostels. The only impedimenta that has remained constant and evaded the withering of time is a rustic, old, cozy but chubby sofa. The faded red colored sofa has adamantly occupied one side of the room for times immemorial. It is also the prettiest sight and an object to behold for any tired resident on duty or a medical student tired of circumventing around the field of vision of a professor.
Anyway, as we don our surgical attire in the same fashion as the Superman straps onto his red robe, we feel the ghost of Dr. McDreamy entering inside us. These green attires give us the feeling of being invincible though the reality could not be in a starker contrast. Followed on by comically crafted surgical masks and caps, completes us playing superheroes in our inexhaustible fictitious mind-stories. Entering an operation room is nothing short of an entry of Chuck Norris in a movie. Even the minutest of details and gentlest of sounds become a background for our heroic entry. The rhythmic beeps of cardiac monitors, rugged rolling down of stretchers and lusterless background humming of large AC ducts make up for the lack of musical background. As we roll inside the operation theatre in a queue, as if the whole platoon has just walked out of a navy seal training academy, we are to soon realize that we are nothing but the minutest of cog in a gargantuan cog-machine.
At the first glimpse of the chief surgeon who doesn’t look too different from the leader of a Vikings clan, the pack of presumptive daredevils disband like a herd of deer being ogled at by a lion. Our hide-and-seek playing tactics suddenly comes at the forefront. We manifest the uncanny behavior of finding the darkest of the spots in the operation theater just to avoid the bespectacled, ferocious, Dumbledorish gaze of surgeons. Rest of the time in the surgery is an interplay of finding the worthiest position to avoid the gaze of our teachers and yet maintain the dignity at its minimum acceptable level. In spite of all the mumble jumble explanations of basic surgical topics and our boisterous frog leaps around the operation theater, these surgery postings become our best learning experience and from here it is, that we remember the most information, for the longest possible period in the human psyche.