I found myself on the wrong side of the ether screen last week, having surgery on my left hand to release Dupuytren's contracture, a genetic gift from my father and generations of our Viking forebears (asamonitor.pub/33BeNvR).
Wondering how long it will take to heal – and when I'll get some (any?) grip strength back in my hand – leads to reflection on the combination of brain and brawn necessary in the clinical practice of anesthesiology, something we don't think much about when we're young and fit.
Obviously, our clinical work demands intelligence. But we should ask this question: does it need to be as physically arduous as it currently is?
Would we reduce burnout, and keep clinical anesthesiologists in the workforce longer, if we devoted some of our collective brain power to making our workplaces less physically punishing and more ergonomically friendly? This is not an idle question...