This chapter is meant for the medical student about to undertake his rotation on the surgical services, and no less to the resident and fellow in surgery. Some attending surgeons would do well to study this chapter. Students will not have the opportunity to take a leadership role in most of the items discussed below. They can be vigilant observers, learning how a fine-tuned machine such as the operating room environment could or should work.
Surgery is a preemptive specialty, demanding innovation, organization, and the ability to rapidly adapt one’s thinking methods. These are all learned functions. They do not come naturally; however, once observed correctly, they will simply become the way of life for the student and resident in surgery.