pediatric training

Four-Year-Old Teaches Surgeons Emotional Intelligence

  • 1.8K

After the 22nd time (in 2014) that one of its surgeons violated the strict no-tolerance professionalism policy, University Medical Center decided that there should probably be a consequence.

In an unexpected twist, hospital CEO Dr. Benjaminer Jonathanski decided that this consequence would be a mandatory emotional intelligence training for surgeons taught by his 4-year-old son Ludwig.

The surgical community was shocked at the recently released results of the intervention.  Professionalism violations decreased by 95%.

Chairman of neurosurgery Dr. Meetch Booger had led the pack with ten violations in 2014 alone.  He was well beloved by the OR nurses and techs for keeping them on their toes by throwing scalpels across the room and for asking complementary questions such as “How stupid are you?” and “You idiot, can’t you see you’re killing the patient?!”

After little Ludwig’s course, however, Dr. Booger hasn’t thrown a thing or shouted a single derogatory question.

When asked what had caused such a drastic change Dr. Booger answered, his eyes moist, “That little guy told me to use my talking voice and my kind helping hands.  He said it’s what his mommy told him and when he does it he gets extra cookies after din din.”

Dr. Antigoni Azakastan, head of pediatric cardiac surgery, was another stellar performer.   In 2014 he had set the record for most fellows and nurses forced to take anti-anxiety meds prior to working with him in the OR.  One of his patented moves was to make his fellow take his scrub jacket off and do pushups in the OR while saying, “I elute dumb like stents elute drugs” over and over.

After Ludwig’s tutoring he began to receive glowing feedback from his fellows.  “Ludwig changed my life,” said Dr. Azakastan.  “That little genius said to use my listening ears and my happy helpy voice.  He said he tried everything else to get what he wants, even pooping on the floor, and this worked the best.”

Needless to say the OR nurses are ecstatic.  RN Jessica Charm said she used to have to do lamaze breathing just to make it through a day in the OR with Dr. Booger.  “Now it’s a pleasure to come to work,” she said.  “I’ll ask him a question and before he answers I’ll hear him saying, under his breath, to himself, ‘Use my talking voice, use my talking voice,’ and then he’ll answer in the nicest way.”

Four-year-old Ludwig also met with the nurses and suggested they reinforce the new behaviors by having milk and cookies, star charts, and Frozen underwear and bracelets available as gifts for the surgeons when “they act like big boys and use their talking voice and listening ears like mama says.”

Asked if he was surprised at the stunning results his son had produced Dr. Jonathanski said, “Not really.  I always suspected that being emotionally stuck at the age of 4 was a requirement for completing surgical residency.”

Little Ludwig is available to give workshops most days before his 1 PM nap.  He can be found on Twitter at @NotPottyTrainedButTrainingSurgeons.

  • The Joint Commissioner

    Half joint, half commissioner, all dedication. The Joint Commissioner is the founder, chairman, CEO and sole member of the board of the Joint Commission And Then Some (JCATS). JCATS is funded by a 50% tax on physician salaries and spends 100% of its time 25% of the time on keeping patients safe and doctors guessing.

  • Show Comments

  • Avatar
    Mellivora Capensis

    Honeybadger don’t care…he just poops on the floor. After throwing a few things.

  • Avatar
    Yanci Sears

    Oh I’m in…. Can it be a group intervention with multiple docs….. Lol

  • Avatar
    Cheri Schenck

    This is spot on.

  • Avatar
    Ryan William McDonald

    My 4yo outperforms our surgeons @ naptime on empty tum-tum…

  • Avatar
    Catherine Carter

    I’m cry

  • Avatar
    Jamie Schill


  • Avatar

    Little Ludwig is already studying medicine. His hope is to have a personality transplant graft ready when he turns 18.

    At that point the graft can be introduced in to surgeons with the hopeful result of an actual personality taking hold

  • Avatar
    Kerri West


  • Avatar
    Karen Davenport


  • Avatar
    Lauren Audrey Licata

    Well I’d be better behaved, too, if someone was giving me stickers!! Maybe some programs need to step up the reward system like giving out scotch or sports team memorabilia to surgeons behaving properly.

  • Avatar
    Shannon Magee

    I know a few who would benefit…

  • Avatar
    Michele Munkwitz

    This is awesome

  • Avatar
    Jeanette Polcz

    Monica Evelyn Polcz

  • Avatar
    Sarah Kohrmann

    Can we get an emergency intervention in Cincinnati ASAP?! I know quite a few nurses who will chip in to cover his consultant fees

  • Avatar
    Margaret Sturdy

    Clever girl!

  • Avatar
    Victoria Morgan

    Clearly, a waste of the four year old’s time and energy. I’d need to see a follow up study a year after the interventions.

  • Avatar
    Karen Schmidt

    I have someone to send-STAT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

You May Also Like


Ask a July 1st Medicine Intern

14.2KSharesDear July 1st Medicine Intern, I’ve been wheezing a little bit more over the ...

doctor in er

Patient Honest About How Much He Drinks

660Shares24-year-old Jimmy Cliff came to University Hospital today for his elective hernia repair, and ...