A Hidden Resource In The OR

During the setup of your case, your vendor may already be in the room focused on getting the surgical technician set up with their products. Vendors are trained in the procedures, anatomy, and components specific to our products, so we can help provide ease of mind and ensure our devices are used properly. 

I have noticed that residents don’t always know that vendors can be a resource for them. From the beginning of the case, looking over fractures on the CT scan and talking through methods of fixation together is a strong start for an efficient case. 

One scenario I have encountered is a first-year resident who was tasked to get the patient prepped before surgery. Unfortunately, they were not given much direction on the preferences of their attending so they weren’t confident about where to start. Nowadays, many institutions have more travelers than consistent staff in the OR, and the vendor may be one of the only people in the room who knows what is going on with that specific case. That day in particular, I was the only one who was able to speak on how the attending typically preferred to set up their patient before surgery. It was a win for the resident and a win for me to be able to help and provide value. 

My biggest piece of advice for residents is to utilize their relationship with their vendor.  Depending on the vendor, many companies have the ability to provide resources for education and sponsorships. Ask your vendors what medical education abilities they have. Some examples of what we can do are sponsoring cadaver labs, journal clubs, textbooks, and even flying you out to a medical course you are interested in. 

Don’t assume that your vendor cannot help you. If you have a good vendor, they will do everything they can to try to answer your questions and not leave you hanging.

– Craniomaxillofacial Medical Device Representative


  • These authors wished to remain anonymous. They are either resident physicians, fellows, or friends and family of physician trainees.

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