Remember my "almost-deadly mistake" of last week? Today I did my first neuter since then, on a dog about the same size. Last week's case was running through my mind the whole time, and I was extra careful. I watched my suture placement more closely than I have since I first started doing this surgery, despite the fact that I've done thousands of these procedures. This is something that I'll probably do quite a bit in the future, not being as comfortable and complacent as I have in the past.
Honestly, this isn't necessarilly a bad thing. I realize that I'm only human and mistakes will happen (not just as a vet but in my life in general). However, I hope that I learn from my mistakes and never make the same one twice. I can clearly remember each slipped stitch, wrong drug dosage, and missed diagnosis I've made, as well as I remember certain of the highly successful cases. Everyone will make a mistake once. I try hard never to make the same mistake twice. Part of experience is learning from your past screw-ups and preventing them from happening again in the future. There are many things I am confident that I will never do a second time because I felt so bad or stupid the first time.
A little paranoid to triple-check this surgery? Probably. But I consider this a helpful kind of paranoia, as it makes me a better doctor. Sometimes the hardest lessons are the ones we learn the most from.