Perfect Timing

I didn’t realize it but I am coming to this conference during the ideal time for me. I just began my third year of medical school – making the transition from the classroom to working in the hospital. Specifically, I have begun with surgery. I am learning a lot about my new environment, but being the newest and most inexperienced member of the team has made me lean toward being a silent member of the team. However, being here I have realized that I should really take note of my new surroundings and examine them critically.

Last week, I noticed that different residents and attendings removed the tourniquet at different times during surgery- anywhere from finishing the major repair of the bone in orthopedics up to the point of waking a patient from surgery. Was this harming the patient by affecting infection rates or risking ischemia? I did speak up and phrased my concerns in the form of a question. “When is it best to remove a tourniquet during the orthopedic surgeries?”

I appreciate that here the community is supportive of my thoughts regarding safety despite the fact that I’m at the bottom of the totem pole this year. I truly see the contrast in attitude between this community at  Telluride and that at my home hospital and medical school, and I see that space that we have for improvement. Let’s go!

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