The camaraderie and support not only of the faculty for their residents, but also among the residents
for each other was palpable and struck me as getting
at the essence of developing the peer connections
needed to work together effectively in surgical teams.
At a time when we are bombarded by demands for
greater efficiency in clinical care and education and
of increased scrutiny of our outcomes, it was refreshing to see a group of surgeons focused on the human
side of surgery. I think that forming these bonds of
compassion for one another can have a significant
impact on averting feelings of isolation, frustration,
burnout, disillusionment, and cynicism.
Getting to the heart of surgery
I left the service feeling both touched and impressed.
The empathy that the young surgeons who participated in this event demonstrated for their colleagues,
their patients, and their patients’ families left me
quite sanguine about the future of our profession. I
wanted to share this experience with all of you and
to encourage surgical educators to consider starting
similar programs at their institutions.
Drs. Fahy and Ketteler are in the process of preparing a manuscript based upon a survey they sent to
faculty, residents, and medical students about their
responses to patient loss and their impressions of how
this important topic should be addressed in surgical
training. The Editor-in-Chief of the Bulletin has been
in touch with Dr. Fahy about publishing an article
based on the results of that study in the near future.
Death is almost always an uncomfortable topic,
particularly among surgeons who enter the profession with the goal of saving lives, not watching
them end. However, I believe programs like the one
at UNM will help the next generation of surgeons
attain a broader perspective on death and dying
and what quality really means when caring for the
end-of-life patient. ♦
UNM residents, from left: Eyas Alkhalili, MB, BS; Ana De Oliveira, MD; Jacquelyn Brandenburg, MD; Rebecca Sauerwein, MD;
Alissa Greenbaum, MD; Zoe Jones, MD; Lindsay Jinkins, MD; Barkat Ali, MD; Margaret Rigamer, MD; Nova Szoka, MD; and Richard Miskimins, MD.
At a time when we are bombarded by demands for greater
efficiency in clinical care and education and of increased
scrutiny of our outcomes, it was a refreshing to see a group
of surgeons focused on the human side of surgery.
If you have comments or suggestions about this or other issues, please
send them to Dr. Hoyt at firstname.lastname@example.org.