Vital Times 2017 - 80

surgeon still needs to have a sense of confidence and
a certain amount of nerve. Male or female, they often
think of themselves as the captain of the ship. The way
to deal with that sort of personality is with grace and a
bit of humor. In anesthesia, we need the right balance of
backbone and flexibility.
Don't worry too much about work-life balance, whatever
that is. The term doesn't even make sense to me. The
opposite of work is leisure. The opposite of life is death.
If you feel that you're only living when you're off duty,
then I would respectfully suggest that you need to find
another job! Anesthesia is a great profession - endlessly
interesting, always evolving. Of course, you need time
for family, for exercise, for leisure. Especially in the years
when children are small, it can be tough to juggle all your
responsibilities. But satisfying work is a fundamental
component of a life well lived. It's OK to lean into your
career!
Always keep learning. That's what keeps it interesting. Go
to a workshop and learn a new technique. Make yourself

80 		|	 	 CSA	Vital	Times

learn to use the next new drug - that's the only way you
can decide how and when it's worth using.
It just amazes me what I've seen in my lifetime. To go from
using a slide rule in high school chemistry to having a
phone with more capacity than a whole room full of IBM
mainframe computers used to have - that's phenomenal.
When I started in anesthesia, there was no pulse oximetry,
or end-tidal CO2, or ultrasound. It makes me want to
stick around for another 30 years just to see what will
happen next. Imagine what you'll see in your lifetimes!
Techniques that are state-of-the-art today - 30 years from
now you may look back and think, "I can't believe we used to
do it that way!"
In giving anesthesia, in taking care of our patients, we
have the opportunity and the responsibility to be part of
the whole cycle of life, to look beyond ourselves. What
we have in common as human beings will always be more
important than our differences. I wish you great joy and
every success in your years ahead, and I thank you all for
the great pleasure of being here today.



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