A blogger named Bongi from South Africa gives a sense of what it feels like to be a surgeon. For those of us who are not, this is an important insight. It must be considered if we are interested in process improvement and better teams in the ORs:
i try to refer away whatever i feel is not in my scope but once the knife goes through the skin you become suddenly very alone. it is too late to think there is someone else who can do the job better than you. you must be the best for that patient at that moment. this becomes more acutely true when something goes wrong and you have to dig yourself out of a difficult situation. the thing about difficult situations in my line of work is if you handle them not too well someone may just end up dead. somehow to believe you are the best does seem to give just that little more of an edge.
i am not justifying surgeon's arrogance and i hope never to be arrogant. but i can't imagine being able to do what i do without just a little more than the normal amount of self confidence.