B.C. surgeons have been reminded that their idle chatter during operations can be unnerving for some patients. ((CBC))

B.C. surgeons are being reminded to cut the hockey chatter and other unrelated banter in the operating room.

The practical advice comes after a patient complained about a surgeon discussing a hockey game with nurses, said Dr. Heidi Oetter, registrar of the province's College of Physicians and Surgeons.

Oetter said the man was awake during his eye surgery and was concerned that the surgeon's "idle chatter" could lead him to make a mistake, although that wasn't the case.

Oetter said the "gentle reminder" was included in a quarterly report posted on the licensing body's website last December.

She said the complaint was an opportunity to provide guidance to surgeons operating on patients who have not been sedated.

The same advice about being discreet would apply in other areas where doctors are chatting with colleagues about non-medical issues that are irrelevant to the important task at hand, Oetter said.


  • A previous version of this story misidentified the registrar of the province's College of Physicians and Surgeons as Dr. Heidi Otter. The registrar's name is in fact Dr. Heidi Oetter.
    Apr 09, 2011 12:07 AM PT