Title: 56M, lap R hemi

By Tatiana Yeuchyk and Emily Snook 

Perspective #1: New Medical Student 

On this operative table, I see a man 

Who has had fifty six years of life before this moment 

Filled with experiences: happy, constructive, challenging 

Who has three children, one of whom is overseas,  

All of whom are waiting with bated breath by the phone. 

I feel the immense responsibility of taking part in his care 

The privilege to be privy to one of his most vulnerable moments 

He is awake and I speak to him with the utmost respect 

Then he is asleep – and I speak about him in the same manner 

He has placed his trust in us and that feels invaluable  

I will carry that duty throughout the case until he wakes again 

And I greet him with a genuine smile once more 

To tell him that everything went well, and he did great. 

So that he can leave this hospital to live out the rest of his  

Fifty sixth year and many more 


Perspective #2: Surgical Resident 

I need to order that bloodwork  

Okay, this is the guy who came into clinic 2 weeks ago with his wife and daughter 

Or is this the guy who came into clinic 4 months ago with no one 


 When this is done I need to check if that CT is back yet 


Why is all the equipment at this hospital from the 70s  

I hope the staff asks me this question  

I hope the staff doesn’t ask me this question  


This guy is like my dad’s age  

I should call my dad after this and see how he’s doing 

He’ll ask how I’m doing  

I’ll say fine  

I’m tired and I’m doubting myself and I’m tired and I’m fine 

But it’s all worth it  

For that look on a patient’s face when you tell them it went well  


Is this the guy who worked for the transit commission  

Or is the guy who retired from being an accountant last year  


I can’t forget those discharge summaries 


There was a time when I promised myself  

That I would stay shiny and sweet and know it all  

That was me  

And that’s still me  

It’s just buried under reminders and outcome stats and memories of all the times  

Things haven’t gone as planned  

And right now  

I don’t have time to find it because  

I have to pay attention