They say, it is hard to be good at everything. Well … there are people, who give us the feeling, they are outstanding in everything they do. But most of us are simply such, that we are good at some things and at others … a little less.
It is like that with me and surgery. In my soul, I am more an internist than a surgeon and although it is extremely interesting for me to stand in the operating room and observe the work of others, I am much less enthusiastic, when the roles are turned around. Luckily, that rarely happens. Or maybe it isn’t really luck, because my “destiny” is similar to that of many non-specialist veterinarians, employed in smaller private practices. It is often necessary to work on everything, so I have to do minor surgical procedures here and there. And although at the end I proudly admire the precisely sutured wound, at the same time I am aware that my co-worker, who daily spends time in the operating room, would do the same procedure much faster.
I wouldn’t say that I don’t like surgery, or that I am not skilful enough. Not at all. It is actually a challenge for me. However, in the crazy rhythm of veterinary everyday work (which we all know so well), I simply can’t take enough time to get down to it calmly. At the beginning I would also prefer to have someone there to help and guide me. Then I should be able to repeat procedures often enough so that they become simple, routine for me.
For veterinarians at small practices it is actually quite important to know basic surgical procedures – suturing wounds, sterilizations, castrations … These are procedures, that we often underestimate and think: “Oh, if needed, I could totally handle it, everybody can do it.” But at the same time, we are subconsciously (or even consciously) avoiding them. Because they are not urgent, they can wait for our colleague “the surgeon” to do it much faster. We forget, that those basic procedures include all the important techniques, that we need to conquer in order to start performing more demanding surgeries. Practice, practice, practice …
Being a super surgeon is not a must. It is totally fine, if everyone finds their own field of veterinary medicine, they like and are good at. But it is probably also good, to have enough self-confidence, to go into surgery when/if necessary. Sometimes life depends on it.