Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘orthopedic surgeon’

Sunday musings 8/26/12

Sunday musings…

1) Substantiate. Among the definitions or meanings is “to make more substantial.” Could use more of this.

2) Wedding. Mrs. bingo and I are once again in San Diego (nice town ya got here, by the way), this time for a wedding. Not just any wedding, mind you, but a wedding that took place on the deck of the Midway. Whoa. I can’t begin to describe the chills, the raised hair on the back of the neck thrill when we realized that we were actually on the elevator that brought countless aircraft up from below, and that we were descending to meet the bride.

Seriously, thrill of a lifetime.

3) Promotion Class. Did you know that each year a defined number of Admirals (and presumably Generals in other services) is promoted as a class? Me either. These classes will gather on occasion, but they usually go their own ways throughout and after their careers. Kinda busy, you know, keeping the free world safe.

The groom is one of these Admirals, one of 12 in the Class of ’99. Including him, 8 of these men and women were in attendance (as well as an Admiral from ’00 and the General husband of an Admiral). Awestruck doesn’t begin to cover the collective reaction of the other guests.

What was striking, to me and to most, was the camaraderie on display in this particular group. They’d done this before, been assembled by choice many times before, and this time came from all over the globe to share in a comrade’s joy. In their Dress Blues they moved among us with a grace and a certain dignity that was palpable, while simultaneously cavorting like college classmates who snuck away to the beach. I searched for words to describe what I saw last night, and found one this morning.

I spent the evening in the company of 8 (+2) substantial men and women who provided lessons in honor, loyalty, and gravitas simply by being together in the room.

4) Home. Where do you live? Morgan Freeman: “Everyone lives somewhere.” Do they? Do you?

Where you live is more than where you are domiciled at the present moment. The distinction between “house” and “home” is real, is substantial. Home requires effort; house requires a checkbook. A house demands upkeep of the walls, the various and sundry systems and furnishings, but a home demands an on-going commitment to what is contained within those walls.

Home also seems to contain a notion of place. A “where are you from” kind of statement or sense. You’ve committed to a certain zip code, learned the rules of the road so well that you move through that larger space in a continual comfort zone. It might be described as simply as knowing where to find eggs for emergency muffins on a rainy Sunday morning, this notion of “home in place”.

I wonder, and I readily confess that I worry about my friends who have multiple “homes”. Does home travel with them from place to place, simply injected into the particular space they occupy at any given moment? Maybe. I know that I am always “home enough” whenever I happen to be accompanied by Mrs. bingo, but still, I’ve needed a map every day here in SoCal.

“Everyone lives somewhere.” Indeed.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at August 26, 2012 8:52 AM

 

It’s Hard To Make It Look Easy

It’s really hard to make something look easy. Think about it. The best knee surgeon takes 1/2 the time and gets twice the good results of the average surgeon. It barely looks likes he’s working at all. The very best LASIK surgeon makes the most difficult case look like a piece of cake, just like the easiest and most straight forward cases done by the average surgeon.

None of this happens without an enormous amount of hard work, practice, study, and yes, a little bit of natural ability doesnt’ hurt either.

Think about double-unders, jumping rope with two passes of the rope under your feet for each jump. A CrossFit legend named Chris Spealer did a Tabata Double-Under set (20 seconds of exercise followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times) and got a lowest score of 40, or something crazy like that. Looked like a snap, too. ┬áMy best is 10. TEN! If you are a CrossFitter and you’ve struggled with Double-Unders (and who hasn’t, eh Jeff Martin?) you watch and you say it’s easy for him. You gotta know, though, after watching all of the Speal videos, that there were countless hours of work behind that. He just makes it look easy. It’s not.

Samuel Beckett had a run of some 10 years or so where everything he published was nothing short of brilliant, and there was a ton of it. If you are a writer and you have stared at a blank piece of paper or a blinking empty screen (and who hasn’t, eh Daigle?), you might think that Beckett was simply gifted, that the words simply poured out onto the page fully formed and prepped for posterity. Reading Beckett’s letters, though, tells a different tale entirely, one of anguish and toil, brutal hard work. He just made it look easy. It wasn’t.

We tend to discount the hard work behind any skill-based endeavor when we only see the “game film”, so to speak. The untrained eye is often unable to discern the subtleties in some performance or job that the best of the best just blow through, making it look like an everyday, ho-hum whatever. In most circumstances we just don’t have an adequate frame of reference that allows us to see how an average or “regular” surgeon, or athlete, or debater struggles with the curveball, the surprise. We don’t even get a chance to compare how the true superstar handles a truly mundane “game” in comparison with the middle-of-the-Bell Curve guy, at least outside the realm of sports.

This lack of perspective, along with a lack of awareness of how hard the best of the best have worked to get there, leads us to minimize the excellence before us. The average cataract surgeon in the United States takes more than 20:00 to complete the surgical aspects of a case. The very best among my peers take 5 or 6:00 to do the same thing. No movement is wasted, and each tiny step is literally a microscopic ballet. The complication rates for average eye surgeons are 5-10X greater than that of the top surgeons, and the best surgeons routinely achieve better outcomes by all measures.

The best surgeons make it look too easy. Our response as a nation to this is criticism that eye surgeons are overpaid for such a “quick and simple” procedure; there is a palpable, barely hidden contempt for the highest achieving physicians among healthcare policy makers. This is just wrong.

It’s really hard to make it look easy, almost everywhere and in almost every endeavor. We should be MORE amazed and have MORE respect when we see something and think: WOW…she really made that look easy!