A 'gentle reminder' has been issued by the College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia to its surgeons not to indulge in unrelated conversations during surgery.
The 11,000 doctors in the province received the advisory just as the National Hockey League is about to take place. It was sent in response to a complaint from a patient who reported that his surgeon talked about hockey with staff members the whole time he was carrying out the procedure. The patient, having been given a local anesthetic, heard the entire conversation, while worrying over his surgeon's concentration on his job.
Dr. Heidi Oetter, Registrar of the province's College of Physicians and Surgeons said that while small talk or music may help the surgeons to relax or be more focused, patient-needs must be considered first. If a patient feels distinctly uncomfortable over his surgeon's seemingly divided attention, then his feeling must become the priority.
As Dr. Oetter remarks, it is a patient-centered system and the patient's comfort level needs to be considered first.