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Angel Over My Shoulder

Updated on September 17, 2011

“See these?” I asked the patient, flicking my fingers over the hoops in my ears. “These are my insurance policy.” I was making reference to the winged cherubs dangling from their golden perch just beneath my OR cap as I made ready to begin the day of surgeries. “These are the angels over my shoulders watching out for you.”

As an OB/GYN physician, I like to reassure my patients that they are ultimately in God’s hands prior to heading into the operating room for even the most minor case. I want them to know that their surgeon is guided by a force higher than nature and more reliable than chance.

“God bless you, Doc,” my patient whispered to me as our hands met across the rail of the gurney. Like many people, she was probably terrified of the potential complications and the pain associated with the abdominal hysterectomy planned for her that day. But it seemed to help that I drew her attention to my two little symbols of faith. Perhaps they gave her a focus other than fear.

“Don’t worry. You’re going to do great,” I told her. The patient and I had previously discussed the fact that I cannot guarantee a perfect outcome. But I let her know that she could trust me to do my best on her behalf. If a complication occurred, I would work through it with her, relying on God’s help.

The angel earrings had been a birthday gift from my parents. I doubt they realized the significant role that the jewelry would play in my life and career in medicine when they made the purchase. Since then, I have acquired other symbols to wear. A cherub necklace or a simple cross might adorn my neck beneath the scrub shirt on occasion, helping me to see the hand of God in my life. I realize that these icons are only symbols of faith, not faith itself. They’ll be there whenever I operate, and so will God be, right over my shoulders.


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    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

      Hi, there's nothing better than having someone looking out for you when you are having an op, and to see those wonderful symbols would make me so much more relaxed, nell

    • Drjacki profile image

      Drjacki 6 years ago from North Carolina

      Thanks for the kind comments!

    • Enlydia Listener profile image

      Enlydia Listener 6 years ago from trailer in the country

      That was are the kind of surgeon I would want if I needed one.

      I remember praying for an angel to be in the delivery room when I had my seventh child. I didn't see an angel, but had a doctor I had never met before who turned out to be an angel of a doctor. He later turned out to be a neighbor when we moved to a new town. You can imagine my surprise when I saw him riding his lawn mower in the yard behind ours.