Tip: If You Have Colorectal Cancer, Pick a Doctor with Small Hands

Hand size matters.  It’s a lesson I learned while having my colorectal cancer diagnosed and staged at the University of Chicago and the Mayo Clinic.  

Of course you want the knowledgeable doctor but, all other things being equal, go for the petite female not the Big-10 lineman with fingers like sausages.

It’s more complicated at a teaching hospital like Chicago and Mayo because your doctor is trailed by a team of residents and fellows, all of whom want to “take a look”.  

I’m all for education and I know that new doctors must get hands-on (or fingers-in) experience so my default answer has always been “sure”.  

There are just two situations where I have insisted on the experienced doctor or nurse.  

First is when the surgery has been described as a complicated, one-shot procedure.  

Second is when the person in-training has made multiple unsuccessful attempts and now looks terrified or, as I experienced several times, is actually crying.  

I think that’s reasonable.