Good hands

We know a tight end can catch a football.
 
How do you know a surgeon has similar hand-eye coordination?  Shouldn’t this quality be possessed by all surgeons?
 
Acceptance into surgical programs is based on grades and test scores.  But where and when in medical school and surgery residency are doctors screened for their dexterity and nimbleness?  Can these skills of adeptness be taught through practice and repetition?  Being in surgical training, I never saw anyone dismissed because of “bad hands.”
 
For some dental schools, a bar of soap has to be carved to show hand-eye coordination.  Is there any point where a surgeon needs to show agility by juggling scalpels?  I invite my surgical colleagues to weigh in on this question.  
 
Until then, next time you visit a surgeon, you might want to toss them a football and see if they make the reception.  You’ll then feel confident they won’t drop the ball.
 
Gene Uzawa Dorio, M.D.
 

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