Throughout my training I’ve found that even the hardest bosses are really softies at heart. Some of the nastiest surgeons I’ve met turn out to be very reasonable and friendly mentors once you get to spend time with them. It’s just that they don’t let too many people come close to them and they demand perfection from everyone working with them. That gives them an air of unapporachability, though they’re really human beings wanting to do their best for their patients. I’ve actually fallen in love with some of these hard to break surgical bosses. In fact whenever I start with a new unit I still make it a point to identify the ‘hardest’ boss in that unit and aim to ‘turn him/her around’. I make it my goal to soften the hardest boss. And surprisingly, it always starts with appreciation. So today, do something to appreciate your bosses. A word, a card, a gift, etc. Surgeons and bosses are people who also need to know that they’re doing well in their work. They too need feedback and appreciation.