I have a presentation to give for a CME weekly course related to a case report that I’ve been working on with a surgeon. The presentation has me quite worried since there will be physicians who are experts in this area and I’m supposed to provide them with some medical education. OK. No biggie. Right?
Ummm…wait. Scratch that.
Did I forget to tell you that the presentation needs to involve various specialties of medicine that are involved in the patient's care? Have I also informed you that it needs to be around 45 minutes in length? I haven't? Well, here's something else to chew on while you consider the enormity of this proposal.
The surgeon I'm supposed to be working with has remained quite clandestine. On Monday, while I spoke with him in the holding room of the OR, he got a little upset that I took it upon myself to ask a specialist (who is also a very well known physician in his field and would make a great person to have write me a letter of recommendation) about some information he can provide on the topic. He told me to only be in contact with him and that we'd talk later in the week. Since then I’ve e-mailed and attempted to contact him several times to get his feedback, the patient’s current status, etc. only to have no replies. I can't find him in his office and he won't return my phone calls. At this point I’m essentially flying blind.
So what would you do?
Here’s what I did: I enlisted that specialist’s assistance anyway in critiquing my power point slides, but not providing me any information. I figured that if the person who signed me up for this presentation wasn’t going to assist me then I’ll go to someone who will at least let me know if what I've got is crap or not.
Now, certainly some concern is warranted at this point. It might make this surgeon mad and he could theoretically try to damage my chances of residency (not very likely, but certainly it's possible). However, he’s right out of residency, still has to take his boards, and has made it rather clear that he’s too busy to actually do this himself. I think that’s part of the reason he drafted me into presenting and I think he feels that I've made him look bad by asking for help. Personally I just want to do a good job and waiting until the last minute is not the way to go.