Plastic Surgery Secrets

Do Surgeons Have Superstitions Before Operating?

Do Surgeons Have Superstitions Before Operating?

We all know when it comes to board certified plastic surgeons, whichever the procedure being performed, it is being done by the finest surgeons available. But I’ve been wondering if there are any secret superstitions or habits that they honor before, during, and/or after a surgery. Here’s a peak at some of their answers.

Do they Dare Walk Under a Ladder Before Surgery?

Achieving board certification in plastic surgery requires years studying the science of anatomy. It’s not surprising then the first answer I got when I asked many of them if they are superstitious was, “No, I’m not superstitious.”

But pester them enough and eventually some of them will admit they may not have full-blown superstitious, but they may have certain rituals (as they call them) they don’t ever forget to practice.

It May not be Avoiding the Path of a Black Cat …

Dr. Brian Brzowski, a board certified plastic surgeon from Utah, does admit to one ritual about which he follows religiously.

“I always have a little coffee in the morning. I don’t have it at home and I don’t have any before I mark my patients,” Brzowski tells The Plastic Surgery Channel. “I have my coffee cup marked and I fill it up to there. That’s my max. I can have that amount of coffee and I can have it at the same time. That’s probably the biggest superstition I follow.”

Dr. Brian Brzowski superstitions.

Plastic Surgeons’ Superstitions Pale Compared to ER doctors

Emergency physicians, nurses, and paramedics are really a superstitious lot.

  •  The “Q” word. “Quiet.” It’s truly the kiss of death. The “S” word, “slow,” carries the same jinx. Usually a fresh nurse or clerk who is “not superstitious” will say, “Wow, I haven’t seen it this quiet in here in a while.” Everyone around will groan and in five minutes 10 ambulances and a bus from the nursing home will arrive.
  • The full moon. The story goes the full moon brings out the crazies and the trauma and maybe even makes normal folks sick. The story goes that during the full moon the ER will be hopping. Studies have been done; in spite of the fact the statistics do not bear this out, ER docs and nurses will not let this one go.
  • The black cloud. Some doctors or nurses get labeled as ‘black clouds.’  The black cloud label is hard to shake because even though you may stack a whole bunch of reasonable shifts in the hopper, the minute the ER goes nuts the nurses look at them and remember that at some point they had been declared a black cloud.

TLC is a Great Superstition

Dr. Caroline Glicksman, a board certified plastic surgeon in New Jersey, makes sure she practices her pre-op superstition with every patient. “Mostly I just hold my patients’ hands before they go to sleep,” she shares. “I just stand there and tell them everything is going to be fine. If they can’t understand what I’m saying, I try to catch their eye and tell them I’m really proud of them.”

Dr. Caroline Glicksman superstitions.

What About ‘Lucky’ Clothes?

I couldn’t find any surgeons who carried a rabbit’s foot inside their scrubs, but that’s not to say some plastic surgeons aren’t particular about certain pieces of clothing they wear into the operating room.

Dr. Tiffany McCormack, a board certified plastic surgeon in Reno, admits she doesn’t feel absolutely on top of her game unless she’s got her lucky pair on. “I have high fancy socks that are pink,” she says. “My favorite ones say ‘bad ass’ on them.”

Dr. Tiffany McCormack superstitions.

And don’t forget about those special shoes. “I do wear a special type of shoe every time I go into the operating room,” says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Jason Cooper of Jupiter, Florida. “There are no laces, they just slip on and I love the way they feel. I guess I am superstitious about that.”

Dr. Jason Cooper superstitions.

And if shoes and socks aren’t your thing…

Dr. Brad Calobrace, a board certified plastic surgeon in Louisville, KY, has a routine that he follows every single morning before he operates.

Dr. Calobrace superstitions.

“I work out every morning,” says Calobrace. “That takes an hour. Then I have some coffee. They taught me in residency if you do drink coffee, you should continue to on surgery days, to avoid any potential shaking. And then I meet with some friends before my day begins. It helps to socialize a little. Then I head into surgery. That’s my routine and it never changes.”

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