A lot of the time, I get the question "why do you do what you do?". I like that question. It opens up honest and sincere discussions, about things that important to each and everyone of us. It cuts through small talk about the weather or about traffic, and it is important, in one way or another, to everyone I meet.
I had the pleasure and honour to meet with Dr Fiona Moss this week, Dean of Royal Society of Medicine in the UK. She asked to: "Why do you do this?" She was engaging and curious, keen to learn more. (What a great quality for the dean of such an organisation, with a drive to modernise learning!)
My answer is simple. I chose to work here because I believe in better. I believe that there is a better way of training, a more modern way, a safer and more effective way.
And, it is personal to me. I have had more surgeries than I can remember, and I have spent 20 years in healthcare. I know what it is like to recover from surgery, and if I can do anything to help doctors get patients back on their feet in a quicker, safer and more effective way, I would like to do that.
These are my Top 3 reasons for loving my job:
1) I get to constantly learn too. I learn about new challenges, procedures, hurdles and issues every day,and I get to try to help solve them. For a Learner like me (from Strenghtfinder), my job is amazingly varied and complex.
2) This is challenging. Cadaveric training is not even close to being utilized in an effective way yet, and there is a lot of room for improvement in how hands-on learning is currently happening. There is a lot of clinical evidence on learning curves, but it hasn't yet translated into how we shoudl change hands on traiing for surgeons to not harm patients during said learning curves. I want to be a part of changing that.
3) Every doctor I've discussed with agrees cadaver training on fresh frozen human tissue is the best possible hands on training. It is a better learning than live patients for most procedures, as it allows to start/stop, go back, and even start over. It allows for pushing limits, finding out what "too deep" feels like. We can never allow for that type of learning opportunity in a hospital operating theatre.
To me, the generosity, foresight and bravourism of donors is inspiring, and if I can help in making the future safer in surgery, I would like to think I can make a difference, one step at a time, one day at a time.
I believe in better.