Download Expected Miracles: Surgeons at Work by Joan Cassell PDF

By Joan Cassell

Expected Miracles explores the realm of surgeons from their very own perspective—how they understand themselves, their paintings, colleagues, and groups. spotting that surgical procedure is an artwork, a craft, a technological know-how, and a company, Joan Cassell bargains, via poignant, painful, and exciting descriptions, a bright portrayal of the tradition of surgery.

Cassell has entered a realm the place laypersons are typically horizontal, bare, and anesthetized. utilizing the valuable metaphor of the surgical "miracle," she illuminates the drama of the working room, the place surgeons and sufferers alike anticipate heroic functionality. She takes us behind the scenes to overhear conversations approximately sufferers, households, and associates, become aware of operations, listen in on gossip approximately surgeons’ performances, and consider the values, habit, and misbehavior of surgeons at work.

stated one leader of surgical procedure, "You couldn’t have an excellent health practitioner who didn’t think within the thought of the Hero." Following this lead, Cassell explores the heroic temperament of these who practice surgical "miracles" and unearths that the calls for and pressures of surgical perform require characteristics that during different fields, or in own interactions, are frequently considered as bad. She observes, "surgeons needs to tread an exceptional line among braveness and recklessness, self assurance and hubris, a favorable angle and a mystical one." This gentle stability and common imbalance is portrayed via numerous personality sketches. She contrasts the worrying awareness and technical mastery of The Exemplary health practitioner with the theatrical posturing of The Prima Donna and the slick showiness and questionable morals of The Sleazy Surgeon.

She additionally identifies the attributes that surgeons respect in one another. they think that purely friends can quite assessment one another, and, whereas medical professionals would possibly not communicate negatively approximately colleagues in public, the neighborhood of surgeons exerts substantial strain on its participants to accomplish competently.

not like "doctor-bashing" chronicles, Expected Miracles seeks to appreciate the charismatic authority of surgeons, its instability, and its price-to surgeons and to patients.

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Extra resources for Expected Miracles: Surgeons at Work

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I suspect this is why some surgeons, whom I've observed engage in extremely caring behavior, verbally disparage it. When asked whether caring about a patient made that patient better faster, a chief of surgery said dismissively, "Sounds like something that would come out of a nursing study" (a high insult from a rank-conscious surgeon). Some surgeons contrast caring with technique, as though the two were mutually exclusive. " We might schematicize the relationship between the attributes of a good surgeon by placing them in levels, or layers, each necessary for the one above it.

15 Because they often focus on surface phenomena, patients' judgments oftheir surgeons' technical facility cannot be totally reliable. Knowledge Too much disparity exists between the knowledge of laypersons and that of even poorly educated and inexperienced surgeons for patients to be able to observe or estimate the knowledge of their surgeons. It is too easy for someoneeven an anthropologist, with surface knowledge and imperfect control of the vocabulary-to appear knowledgeable to unknowing and fearful patients and their families.

A miracle is rapid. It does not unfold; it occurs. A cure that takes months may be remarkable and gratitude-inducing, but it is not miraculous. Medical care has been discussed as a process extending through time. Surgery, on the other hand, is based upon a finite event: the operation. Although processes such as preoperative and postoperative care affect outcome, the central act in surgery occurs in a measurable, sharply delimited period of time. A miracle is spectacular. Consisting of a reversal or transformation, it propels the beneficiary from a disvalued to a valued state: sickness to health, death to life, water to wine.

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