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Morning Meeting At The Neurosurgical Department

There is no space for hesitation, things must be presented in the clearest way.

Published onOct 25, 2022
Morning Meeting At The Neurosurgical Department

Audioguide English

Commented text below the picture.

On a Friday, I’m invited to shadow Professor Vajkoczy throughout a day at the hospital. I start at 7:30 a.m., after his morning rounds. The morning meeting is a review of the day at the OR across all campuses of the Charité. On the far left of the drawing, in a corner of the room sitting in front of a computer screen and showing his back to the audience, one can see the resident who is going through a list of patients. He has assembled a full package of information that everyone needs to be aware of that day. He is going through the pictures with rapid fly-through, spinning through the software suites, and sometimes going to an email for images received from other hospitals. At the tips of his fingers, the information goes swiftly through the filter of the minds of the surgeons gathered in the room. The case history of each patient is narrated in precise detail and summarized quickly. The chief is towering in the middle, quick to make a sharp comment or to call into question the very way things are wrapped up: there is no space for hesitation, things must be presented in the clearest way. Also, attention is brought regularly to the fact that only decisions which require a higher level of skill and responsibility should be presented in this meeting.  

Next: Peter Vajkoczy engaging in early-morning brain-data navigation

Lina Finkbeiner:

The artist truly captured the atmosphere of morning meetings at the Charité.

Anna L. Roethe:

Morning meetings are illustrated case reels, debriefings of the preceding 24 hours, information handover to the team, work planning of the day, the week maybe, and military roll call all in one - not to mention an educational tool for the residents. Deeply fascinated by their hierarchical negotiation of power, medical sociology has tried and dissected medical morning meetings. Among other things, they found that diagnostic dilemmas, unusual case details or disagreement with the attending on call were more likely to be discussed in this format. It remains, however, predominantly an instrument of control.

Anna L. Roethe:
  • Ramratnam, B., G. Kelly, A. Mega, P. Tilkemeier, and F. J. Schiffman. “Determinants of Case Selection at Morning Report.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 12, no. 5 (May 1997): 263–66.

  • Parrino, T. A., and A. G. Villanueva. “The Principles and Practice of Morning Report.” JAMA256, no. 6 (August 8, 1986): 730–33.