The Role of Physiology and the Surgeon’s State of Mind in the Surgical Decision-Making Process

  • Rifat LatifiEmail author


The surgeon is like the captain of a complex ship that often travels and navigates through some rough waters. Just like with any other leadership position, such as those associated with a business organization, flying an aircraft, a military unit or squadron, or even a sports team, a lot depends on this one person. The direction in which how he or she will steer the ship, which in this case represents the operating theater, through the dangerous and sometimes uncharted seas between life and death, will have substantial effects on everyone involved with the voyage. The difference between the realities of an operating theater and this wrecked ship metaphor is if things go wrong, the only one who is lost and never returns home is the patient. The aim of this chapter is attempt to understand the role of physiology and surgeon’s state of mind on surgical decision-making.


Surgeon’s mind Surgical symphony Disrupted surgical symphony Performance in stressful situations Sleep deprivation Alcohol consumption Physiology of stress 



There are no identifiable conflicts of interests to report.

The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the subject matter or materials discussed in the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SurgeryWestchester Medical Center, New York Medical CollegeValhallaUSA
  2. 2.Department of SurgeryUniversity of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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