Lucia Liu, Division 3, College junior #ws18e-s1d3

If I could be a character from a television show, I would want to be Walter O’ Brien in the TV show Scorpion. In the show, Walter O'Brien leads a group of brilliant misfits who, along with Homeland Security, helped defending against the high-tech threats of the computer age. I want to be O’Brien because of his attitude towards failures, his positivity, and his trust in science and himself, despite how complex and uncertain the situation may be. I want to be an anesthesiologist when I grow up, and as all medical careers, an anesthesiologist faces great risks in surgery rooms. As an anesthesiologist, mistakes are often not tolerated, as a human life is at risk. However, anesthesiologists are still humans, and humans are bound to make mistakes. If every anesthesiologist give up on saving lives after losing one unfortunate patient, then no one will ever have a chance at a better and healthier life. Therefore, I really wish I could be Mr. Walter O’Brien because his attitudes are truly the foundation for all physicians in the medical field.

O’Brien does not believe in failures. He sees it as a second chance. Throughout the television show, he tried his best to come up with the best solution, yet that may not be the solution that will help the situation. He does not give up even after several attempts. He believes that there has to be a way to solve a problem. “Whenever there’s a problem, there’s always a way”, he always reminds himself and his team in the show. The Scorpion team usually handles chemical issues, and so different reagents and reactions may result in different explosions, color changing, or even sublimation. There are a lot of unknowns, but that does not discourage O’Brien to stop trying. He with his genius friends often contribute their knowledges to the issues and together, they always find the most plausible solution to solve any issues that are present on their plates. Failure is never a word in his dictionary, and it should never be one in any one’s dictionary.

Despite how smart he and his team are, they do not have the best interpersonal communications with any “outsiders” as they describe people who are not like them. Outsiders may include a child from elementary school whose IQ are not as high as Scorpion, or a waitress working at a nearby restaurant. They do not know the appropriate way to express themselves so that it would not sound offended to others. At times when they have to present the issues or their concerns to government officials, families of interest, or even children, they often make the situation worse because they would be completely honest about the current status and that often frighten the “outsiders” even more than they should be. Scorpion’s trust on science has lead it to ignore human emotions as a huge factor, especially when it comes to a life or death situation. At the beginning of the show, O’Brien gave up on talking with the outside world. He did not think it was worth trying, as others did not have the same intelligence as his, and so it would take him a lot of time just to explain the most basic principles to others. Luckily, as the show goes by, he realizes that he could not live just with himself and his genius friends. They are forced to work with “outsiders” because only with the team’s intelligence, can they solve the issues proposed by each episode. Even though O’Brien strongly believes that being straight-forward is the best way to express any feelings, concerns, or questions, but he also agrees that there are a lot of ways for one to express. Different people perceive ideas and emotions differently, and so it is understandable for O’Brien that not everyone will understand his words, as his vocabularies tend to include a lot of medical terms, mathematical equations, variables, and chemical components that not everyone will understand right away. As the show proceeds, I can clearly see the transformation that O’Brien is going through. He stays positive to himself, believing that there is still a chance for him to find a way to communicate with this world in a simpler language. Staying positive is very essential, specifically in the medical world. There are absolutely no guarantees that every patient can be saved, and so every once a while, a patient may pass away, even though all the physicians have tried their hardest to sustain his or her life. Losing one human life should not stop any physician from trying to save the next one. There will always be success in the land of failures, and so I think having hope and staying positive is very important, and the most important lesson to learn from Walter O’Brien.

The last reason why I want to be O’Brien is how much he trust science, and that science is the answer to everything. His team mixing different chemicals, calculating wind speed near a typhoon, bending iron or wires with just simple tools around them have lead me to question myself, “Why do they trust their instincts on science so much that they do not even think twice? Does science work every time? If not, why would they risk it?” I later realized that it is not because they know science would work every time, but because they trust themselves and their knowledges in their specific field so much that they would not even doubt themselves. They know the facts of their surroundings and they utilize those facts to come up with any possible solutions that will help the cause. They of course trust that nature will always follow certain rules, and that the Earth will not change dramatically such as losing the gravity magnetic field in one day. They also have the assumption that science can solve almost everything. With these two beliefs in mind, Scorpion can solve almost every problem it faces. Believing in yourself, in the surroundings, in teammates, and in principals are also very important in the medical field. Surgeons, surgery technicians, anesthesiologists, nurses all have different kinds of knowledges they are sharing with each other in one surgery room. If one physician does not trust any other physicians in the room, the patient undergoing surgery will not be able to recover as expected. Any person in the surgery room has to trust that other physicians are all working towards the goal of saving the patient laying in front of them. Moreover, they must trust themselves with surgical equipment and their medical knowledge in the surgery and any unexpected outcomes from the surgery. Physicians cannot be afraid to save and help patients, because that will completely defeat the purpose of being a physician.

In Scorpion, Walter O’Brien clearly demonstrate three important traits that can be applied in the medical field. He is never afraid for any re-attempts after multiple failures. He is always positive in life, regardless of any issues that he faces in life. Lastly, he trusts himself, his teammates, and the science that surrounds him. In my point of view, a physician need to have all three of O’Brien’s traits before he or she starts practicing medicine. There are always ups and downs in life. As a proverb says, “when you hit rock-bottom, the only way to go is up”. Physicians can never be scared to try, because if they don’t, no one will be brave enough to. One needs to believe in who one is, trusts oneself, and be happy in life. I really wish I could acquire all of O’Brien traits soon and well, as I am closer and closer to Medical School, residency, and being a physician. O’Brien has inspired me to be a much better individual and so if I could only choose to be one character from any television show, I would always choose Walter O’Brien from Scorpion.
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