Returning to Choibalsan to work with this team again was truly a joy and a privilege. It was encouraging to see how much the team had learned – in technical skill and in surgical judgment. It was a pleasure to return to a somewhat familiar environment in such a far away land. It was a privilege to work with our friends and colleagues from our last visit.
I took a special pleasure in learning that one silly little thing I had done last time I was in Choibalsan, has become routine here in the operating room. The first time we were teaching here, I used to clap and cheer whenever the gallbladder was finally freed from the gallbladder fossa. I think surgery is fun and I think finding those moments of small victory are worth celebrating. Okay, it’s silly, but somehow, it has stuck. The first day of our trip this year, the operating team cheered raucously after the first gallbladder was released from the gallbladder fossa – and I laughed in shock. They then informed me that they do that for every cholecystectomy … every one.
If the legacy I have left in Choibalsan is the ability to celebrate the small victories – well I am more than fine with that. Cheers to my friends in Mongolia who do their job well and do their job with joy.