Leader of the Team - 6

 Leader of the Team - 8


I play devotional and instrumental music in my Operation Theatre. It helps to create a soothing and comforting atmosphere.

Once I had to do an emergency operation on a man of 80, for acute intestinal obstruction. His general condition was not at all satisfactory and operation carried high risk, Doctors have occasionally to take risks. In his case without the operation, death was a certainty.

However things went on well and the patient recovered and went home some time later, he narrated his very interesting experience to me. He had known that his condition was serious and he had felt as he was being wheeled into the Operation Theatre that, that could be his last look at the world. He had a sense of finality when he talked to his relatives and friends. He was terribly frightened of entering the Operation Theatre but to his utter surprise he found the whole atmosphere very serene and comforting with the devotional music. Since returning home, the tunes he heard in the O.T would come back to him as he prepared to sleep. This has led me to wonder how little we know about the soothing effects of music, and its beneficial effects on the mind. We have done a lot of research on the effect of drugs on the human body but hardly any on the effect of music on the human mind! I once heard it said that Dr Shrikhande operates while listening to music. I had to correct that statement. The focus of my attention is the operation; music is peripheral. My concentration is on the job and soft music remains somewhere in the background.


A surgeon's life is full of stress. He must train himself to expect the unexpected and be prepared to tackle the problems. Operations involve team-work—the surgeon operates and the team co-operates. Strength of character and awareness of one's capabilities as well as the limitations is very essential for growth. I believe that there is a box within the subconscious of our minds and like the black box in a plane, it registers every thought or deed. In times of difficult situations and adverse surroundings, this box starts emitting messages. If the deeds are good, the storehouse of a clean conscience in this box is the biggest asset to the surgeon when he is handling difficult situations. This is not my opinion but experience.

Compilation of professional reminiscences of specialists - edited by M.V.Kamath and Dr.Rekha Karmarkar