October 1977 seems just the other day, yet thirty seven years have gone by since the first day I put down roots in Snellville, to embark upon a career in surgery, where none had dared before.
I had just completed my training and I was looking to treating real people who needed the scalpel for a cure of what ailed them. And what’s more, there was no one to guide me along any more, as in the days of my training. Did I shiver in my shoes? You betcha! Most of my patients in the early days knew I was green and inexperienced, and yet they placed their trust and faith in me. That was simply awesome. To them I owe the utmost gratitude, for they gave me the confidence and the encouragement to go on, with my head held up high. As the years went by, there were tough times to be had and tough choices to be made. There were times of much rejoicing and times of shedding tears. At the end of it all, I could not have asked for a life more enriching. As I look back at all those years, it is as if I was in a relationship of love and adoration with all of my patients. To all of you, I love you.
To the doctors who accepted me and helped me become part of the medical community, I’m indebted for your generosity and support. The consultants in all sub-specialties made up a brilliant group, despite the small size of the institution. As a surgeon, there is a special group of doctors without whom what would I be doing - I am speaking of my anesthesia colleagues. I had the good fortune of being with a classy group.
From Button Gwinnett Hospital to Gwinnett Community Hospital and to Eastside Medical Center, where would I be without the wondrous workings of the nurses behind the scenes. They were fun, they were funny, they could be serious, they could be foul! But most of all, they cared for the only thing that mattered - the patient. I loved every one of them and cannot duly express my thanks, for they alone saw to my patients’ well-being.
There is a special group of nurses in the operating room known as circulating nurses. These are the folks who conduct the flow of an operation, regardless of its magnitude. What’s predictable about surgery is its unpredictability and when a MASH-type situation happens, these are the folks who maintain calm. They spoke in tongues sometimes, if you know what I mean, and that enhanced my vocabulary, if you know what I mean! Again, most importantly, they saw to the safety of my patient. My “OR memoirs” are replete with incidents involving these nurses, the publishing of which awaits the censor’s pen, if you know what I mean! I could never thank them enough.
The “OR techs,” as they have come to be known, are the unsung heroes of the operating room. These are the marvelous people who make surgery happen! They laud me and they rebuke me and mostly, they make sure I stay on track and the patient is well at the end of surgery. To all of them, my ultimate respect and love.
To all the paramedical staff including the laboratory and radiology, the folks in the cafeteria, the housekeepers and all those others that made my place a happy place - I love you too.
Most of all, I thank all of you for allowing me this glorious career.
E. Victor Pavamani, MD, FACS
1600 Medical Way, Suite 220
Snellville, GA 30078