2. Right versus recognised
In the operating theatre next to where David Longines lay, his chest cracked open receiving cardiacmassage, Mr Lang Ironfly was performing a comparatively routine surgical procedure. Alaparoscopic cholecystectomy. Mr Ironfly was slowly removing the marble-filled gall-bladder of a 33-year old post-partum woman through a hole in her abdomen that was no wider than a 20 cent piece."Babcocks" said the surgeon, referring to the graspers he was diving into the hole, trying to grab thegallstones to pull them out. Aside from the anaesthetic monitors and the occasional scout nursemoving around, the room was silent. "Damn things are too big. Going to have to crush themfirst. Slippery too. Let's try the Alligators instead", switching to a more aggressively toothed forcepwhile holding the endoscopic camera in his other hand.Mr Ironfly - Lang as he insisted on - was a remarkable surgeon. Pushing 60 years and possessed witha gentle, kind demeanour, Lang had spent his entire surgical career trying to be the best doctor hecould. Like the majority of his peers, Lang had chosen the profession less for what he could get fromit, more for what he could give. Medicine's a life, not a career, he'd tell students.Unlike a good number of his peers though, Lang had no burning desire to be recognised for inventinga new piece of surgical equipment or pioneering a procedure or publishing award winning studies orhospital wing naming rights.He just worked to do what he did, really, really well. Perform ever-better to heal the individual.Registrars, nurses, anaesthetists and even experienced sales representatives who'd had the privilegeof watching Mr Ironfly perform a laparoscopic cholecystectomy knew it was something special. Analmost bloodless procedure, technically brilliant. And while occasionally teased by peers for being alate adopter and frustrating his nursing team for being olympically pedantic in his surgical set-ups,there was one surgeon everyone in the know wanted operating on them."Ahh, there we go" said Lang, turning momentarily to the attentive student in the corner. "Better totry crushing the stones and keeping the incision small - we reduce a number of potentialcomplications... suction, please." Like all great surgeons, a passionate teacher.The student - a surgical sales representative - stayed quiet and unobtrusive, nodding politely, hyper-alert to her surrounds, waiting until the surgeon had completed suctioning out the disgustinggallstone slurry before asking an insightful follow-up question.