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I heard this this morning from one of my hysterectomy patients in pre op. She came in wearing a sweatshirt with this quippy saying ironed on the front of it. She wanted to make sure that I could see it. It literally made my day and we both laughed out loud. I truly treasure these moments when a patient and I are able to laugh and joke right before major surgery. I applaud her for her sense of humor. On top of that, this particular patient has been going through some major life stuff lately. In my mind, the fact that she stayed on track with taking care of herself and following through with surgery makes her even more bad ass. I completely respect that. Also, her facility for humor tells me that I have been able to achieve a level of comfort for this patient that actually allows her to make jokes before saying goodbye to one of her main organs. She is able to balance her nervousness with the necessity of her decision. That can only be achieved with extensive counselling, back and forth discussion, establishment of comfortable rapport, and making it a priority to allow the patient to take an active role in the decision-making process regarding her own body. There is nothing that engenders feelings of hopeless and loss of control like someone telling you that you need to be put to sleep and have things done to you that will change you forever. That is huge in my book. Think about the trust that you need to have in your doctor to relinquish that ultimate level of control! It’s hard to fathom really. I think we as physicians need to embrace that humbling fact at the beginning of each and every case that we do. It’s a way to appreciate the patient’s trust, keep yourself in check and remind yourself of your responsibility as a physician and a surgeon. Have a fantastic day everyone!

Dr. Katz

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