It always amazes me to see a physician anesthesiologist in training committing “time saving” short cuts in the O.R. that may place the patient at risk of infection. That I am bothered by this stems from that fact that most of us, upon graduating from our medical schools, were happy to believe in, and recite, the Hippocratic Oath, or a modern variant of that ancient medical pledge. And though the words “First do no harm” do not exist in either Hippocrates’ original or any of the contemporary versions, there is a definite understanding that the reciter of the oath will not intentionally harm the patient. Thus, appropriate aseptic and sterile technique have become elements of my intraoperative teaching.

Certain anesthesiologists will tell you that I have told them, “When you are out in your own practice, and someone asks...

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