PHOENIX, AZ – St. Joe’s Outpatient Surgery Center’s anesthesiologist Dr. James Robinson was twenty-two minutes into performing anesthesia on a 31-year-old ASA 1 for a knee scope, when he suddenly needed help. “Right away when I realized I was in trouble, I picked up the phone on the side of the ventilator and called for help.”
Dr. Robinson is one of the top anesthesiologists in the country at Sudoku. He has placed in the top five, six out of the last seven years, at the annual American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) Sudoku tournament. Fortunately for this Sudoku genius, there was Dr. Watts: Watts finished second to Robinson at the last ASA championship.
“If James calls for a Sudoku question, you know it’s bad,” Watts told reporters. “I respect him for putting his ego aside for the love of Sudoku. We have a saying among anesthesiologists: Let no puzzle go unsolved.”
“Looking back I must have placed the wrong number in early. The operating room (OR) was dark because of the scopes, the circulating nurse kept asking me questions, and I drew up some medications for my next case,” the Sudoku master was trying to explain his error. “I asked the surgeon if we could turn on the overhead lights. He refused.”
Shortly after Watts arrived, he started to diagnose the problem. They tried moving a four and then that two which was giving Robinson so much trouble. In the middle of their deliberations Dr. Young, the orthopedic surgeon said, “You guys having trouble? Why don’t you show it to me over the drapes? I’ll see if I can help.”
Robinson and Watts looked at each other, furrowed their brows, shook their heads and went back to work. Later in the news room, Watts was asked by a naïve reporter why he didn’t let the surgeon help. “Everyone knows orthopedic surgeons are terrible at Sudoku!”