BOULDER, CO – Dr. Shelly Druben, a practicing anesthesiologist, is tired of being called “anesthesia” by her coworkers in the operating room.

“All the nurses and operating room staff know the surgeon’s name and always say Dr. So and So, but not me.  It is always, ‘Anesthesia, do you have this?’  Or, ‘Anesthesia, do you have times?'”

british-flag“I have decided to talk in the 3rd person with a British accent until they can refer to me as Dr. Druben, or at a minimum Shelly,” said Dr. Druben.

Phrases reported to have been spoken during the case included:

Operating Theatre Nurse, Dr. Druben would like another IV fluid bag and some hot tea.  Surgery would you like any?”

“Dr. Druben would like you to mind the gap in transferring the patient from the OR bed to the trolley.”

Dr. Druben believes the bloody patient is bloody!”

“Wow, Dr. Druben sure could use some grub right now.  Operating Theatre Nurse, send in somebody to take care of all of this rubbish on the floor.”

“Ooo, jolly good, X-ray is here.  Dr. Druben needs to put her lead knickers on.”

The talk was overwhelmingly obnoxious and annoying, which led to the entire operating team learning her name including even the surgeons.  Her actions were so successful that Dr. Druben decided to also write an editorial opinion letter to anesthesiologists at the American Society of Anesthesiology (ASA).

“I know my situation and problem are not isolated.  If I can help other anesthesiologists and CRNAs out in their quest to stop being called ‘anesthesia’, I know I have done my job.”

The OR Circulating Nurse, Janet Meyers, was at first annoyed by being addressed “Circulator” or “Operating Theatre Nurse,” but upon reflection said, “She does have a point.  She’s worked here for 6 years, we could learn her name.”

Dr. Druben referred us to a Hitler anesthesia video as further evidence of anesthesiologists typical frustrations.



  • Show Comments

  • Adam

    Showing vulnerability seems to be antithetical to the image practitioners are trying to portray where I’m from. I personally let my performance at work speak for itself; therefore, labels such as “nurse”, “anesthesia”, “young man at the head of the bed”, “crna” do not matter all that much.

  • Bruno Borges

    Despite suffering the same issue as a colleague of Dr. Druben, the tactics of getting people to do what she wished worries me. Worries me because in the operating room, in order to maintain patient safety and focus at highest levels, we need to create healthy relationships, more than anywhere else. I wonder what would happen if she had said something like: “Hey guys, it really hurts my feelings when you call the surgeons and any other doctors by Dr. X and when it comes to me, its ‘anesthesia’. It makes me feel devalued as a physician. I would like to be called Dr. Drubben. Is that ok?” – More vulnerable. Probably more efficient…

  • blossy

    Made me laugh, as I CRNA I would love to have $10 for each time I was called Anesthesia.

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