This past weekend Eric's car developed a clunking noise. I (Jason) always enjoy working on cars, so we took it for a drive and then removed the front tire to explore. We found a torn CV boot that eventually led us to diagnose a worn CV joint. I had to read about this on-line since I knew next to nothing about CV joints. We tried to obtain a second opinion, but we didn’t know any car gurus (and didn’t want to pay a mechanic to tell us). 90% sure of the diagnosis, I set out to replace the CV joint. I did not have all the ideal tools, but I improvised with what I had. I think it all went well, but truthfully I am slightly nervous, since Eric, Rachel and Maggie plan to drive this car around the country this summer.
So where I am I going with this? Well, it struck me that this situation is likely analogous to what I will experience as a surgeon in the developing world. I will be doing operations I have never done before, where there will likely not be an expert available for consultation, so I will have to learn how to do the case from a book or the internet. I won’t have all the right instruments, so I will have to improvise, and I will probably operate on a friend at some point, making the whole experience just a bit more nerve-racking.
Hopefully fixing Eric’s broken ankle in 10 years will go as smoothly as replacing the CV joint on his car!