How I Made my Surgeon Angry

How I Made my Surgeon Angry

Yesterday, I went to a plastic surgeon to get a small mole removed from my cheek.

My dermatologist had highly recommended this doctor. And he seemed nice enough.

First, he injected the anesthetic. OY, it really stung! And then he removed the mole. And then he turned his back and walked over to the counter.

“Are we finished?” I asked him.

And the plastic surgeon turned back to me with eyes wide open with sudden fury, “Do you want to make me angry, or are you going to be quiet?!”

At first, I didn’t get it. Was he, like, making a joke? His enraged response to my innocent question seemed so out of the blue!

And it stung, to be talked to like that. Like I was a misbehaving child rather than a grown woman.
How inappropriate! I was going to complain about this doctor to the head of the clinic! I was never going to come back to him again!

But then, as the doctor continued with the surgery (and I kept my mouth very shut!) my mind wandered back to this Purim, when I was trying, with varying degrees of success, to keep on top of everything that needed to get done. And at one point, my 8-year-old daughter came into the kitchen and started to tell me about something, and I responded, “Do not talk to me right now!”

To me, it was very obvious why I responded like that. I was clearly overwhelmed. And stressed out. How could I not be? I had so many things to do!

And it occurred to me (as I kept my mouth very shut) that this surgeon had felt the same way. I’m in the middle of performing surgery! And this is a very delicate procedure, on a patient’s face! Doesn’t she understand that I’m under a lot of pressure and that I need complete focus?!”

So I’m not judging him. And I’m not judging myself either.

I’m a human being. I get overwhelmed. And I lose my cool sometimes. Everybody does.

But I think that it’s a good thing, actually, that yesterday I got a little taste of being treated like a child.

So I can remember how I aspire (even if I don’t always succeed) to treat my own.


  1. Wow! We should all aspire to be able to turn our perspectives around as well as you. Amazing!

  2. Wow! That took my breath away.

  3. Ah well, not sure about the doc’s attitude. Anyway – refuah shlema to you, dear Chana Jenny!

  4. Thank you for sharing this. GREAT!

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