The painting, “Contemplation Before Surgery,” is among Joe Wilder’s most well known, and shows a masked surgeon in scrubs gathering his thoughts before operating on a patient.
“It is here, at this moment, in the midst of the quiet bustle of the operating arena, that the surgeon stands alone, hands clasped in the classic aseptic position, in a loneliness only he can know.
In the last moment before action, he stands in contemplation, in prayer of supplication. it is now that he draws from the past, that he brings to bear all his knowledge, skill, and expertise in the service of another person.
Working with the unknown, he enters the unknown, whose final outcome can be known only when it is no longer possible to change it.” (1)
(1) M. Therese Southgate, MD cover editor JAMA journal of american medical association.