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What Habits Did You Pick Up As A Doctor That Most People Would Not Understand?

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  1. Dr.Scorpiowoman

    Dr.Scorpiowoman Golden Member

    May 23, 2016
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    This question was originally posted on and was answered by Neeti, studied MD Anaesthesiology

    Ok so I am an anaesthesiologist by profession and this is rather silly, almost dark.

    But whenever I meet a new person, I just don’t look at a person but also see the Anatomy. Not the person but his body, for the ease of anaesthesia. If he or she ever lands up on my table ( god forbid).


    What will be the ease of intubatation for this individual, I think! Specially if the person is a little obese. Sorry I have nothing against obese people. It’s just a medical thingy. They are difficult to give anaesthesia to. Also if the person is just huge. A big heavy jaw is my personal nightmare. I look at people and judge in my head how tough would they be to intubate or anaesthetise. This is how my mind goes-

    Will my small fingers be able to lift that jaw?? Hmm. A big mask somewhere around.

    Like this though more refined

    His teeth too protruding - ahh! maybe a gauze could help.

    Loose front teeth - Go, going … gone!

    Short thick neck - Would keep an LMA around. Definitely tough to get in that local anaesthesia block around that neck. Can’t see a thing.

    Too tall a neck - Paradoxically maybe tough. Maybe difficult to put a tube through .

    Spine too curved- That would be an epidural nightmare, would be fun though to try

    Tall and walking with a hunch. That’s scoliosis with lung disease somewhere.

    I look at necks and always look at the triangles.. Wondering what I am talking about? Turn your head a little against resistance :) I see pics on Facebook and the first thing that strikes me is the neck with the border between the two muscles (SCM) the landmarks of central line placement in someone who has prominent muscles. So basically all I see initially is an ease to place things if that persons lands up in ER.

    And I look at veins. A lot. And I instantly fall in love with people with big veins. It’s like, they are my kinda people. Anaesthesia friendly people. Easy people. Stupid right? There is more. I have veins marked out of my entire family in case of an emergency.

    I have checked my husband’s intubation score too. He has OSA ( obstructive sleep apnea) and heavens me, can that man snore. I was a little worried once and told him that he was an anaesthesist nightmare. He looked at me quizzically. He has often suspected but never vocally admitted to the fact that I might need a little help! But then what else is marriage if you can’t get around the other’s eccentricities ?

    I put up with his!

    For example, my husband is obsessed with my son’s bowel movements for some reason. I just roll my eyes. And, till this date my son cannot have peanuts because god forbid they get stuck in the airway. Doesn’t matter if my son is way past that 2 year age prime. A peanut remains a peanut that will somehow snuggle out of the mouth into the airway and get stuck. Because that’s what peanuts do!

    On a separate note, I enjoy palpating spines of a few close people ( hubby, son, dad and mom). It’s a guilty pleasure. It’s to check out the spaces between them. Because that’s where the needle goes. I just do it now, subconsciously. Good in between spaces give me happiness. It’s just a thing.

    Also pulse rates. It’s just so reassuring. That lub dub in the wrist. I keep checking mine to make sure no arrhythmias. I check my son’s, often enough. Just to make sure no arrhythmias there either.

    Yes! As silly as it sounds.

    I think clinical medicine as we know it traditionally.. that still believed in asking the patient and touching them for signs is slowly dying and the worst of things can sometimes be so easily picked up if one just cares to observe the minute details.

    In hindsight, I should gone have anonymous here :)But it’s harmless enough. And it can be life saving in a dire emeregency.

    So I stare at people or look at the pictures and then I break out of my reverie and smile. But what can one do about these little vagaries of nature.

    And for the zillionth time I am grateful that people cannot read my head!


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