permission to love surgery

permission to love surgeryLast week on Twitter I watched a surgeon ask if it was okay to say that he loved to operate. But as a surgeon do you really need someone’s permission to love surgery?

A bizarre question on one level. Understandable in the context of online culture.

So how have we reached a point where a surgeon can’t express that his chosen work is something he absolutely loves? We’ve become afraid of saying what we love or believe over fear that it could offend or be misunderstood.

On the public stage of social media our affiliations and associations characterize who we are. We’re sized-up and pulled in line based on our profile, view, profession, passions and even gender. Perception trumps reality. And our drive for affirmation has us afraid what someone might think.

So we overcompensate. We posture with the crowd to fit the prevailing narrative and safely remove any shadow of doubt.

But the last thing you want is a surgeon who doesn’t love what he or she does. And the very last thing you want is a surgeon who needs someone’s permission to love surgery. 

And if you need affirmation to share your passion then you’re hanging out with the wrong people.

Image of the OR at Alcatraz via Flickr.