Hedge Fund Brainteasers: Two Surgical Gloves and Three Patients | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 955 A one armed surgeon needs to operate on 3 patients but only has 2 surgical gloves.  How they do it and still have a sterile environment for themselves and for the patient?

Read Full Transcript

This brainteaser is set up in the context of surgery. As you know, surgeons need to be completely sterile. Here's the scenario.

"A one-armed surgeon needs to operate on 3 patients one after another. The surgeon only has 2 individual surgical gloves. How can they operate on the 3 patients in turn, without risking the infection for the patients or for themselves?

Jeopardy music!

We understand that every operation requires a surgical glove that hasn't been contaminated and that is true for the patient as well as for the surgeon, too. What they are trying to do with this question is find that, "Aha moment," where you figure it out.

It's always good to repeat back what the puzzle is.

See my start off by saying, "So let me just make sure I have this right. We have a one-armed surgeon who needs 3 clean gloves for 3 patients, but only has 2 actual gloves.In other words, how can the surgeon actually operate safely for 3 patients using 2 gloves? The gloves not only protect the patient from the surgeon but also protects against diseases are passed from one patient to another."

At which point you smile and say, "I can only think of one acceptable answer. It starts off at the surgeon putting on 2 gloves, one over the other. They then operate on patient number 1. Then they remove the outermost glove, leaving the other one on. They then operate on patient number 2. Finally, the surgeon takes the 1st glove, the one that they discarded from the 1st surgery, reverses it and puts it on over the remaining glove. They can then operate on patient number 3."

Got it?

2 gloves on one hand.
Remove glove
Put clothes number 1 on inside out over glove number 2 so that, in this way, both the surgeon and the patient are protected.

Isn't that a fun one?


Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching and business life coaching. He is the host of “Job Search Radio,” “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice.”

Are you interested in 1:1 coaching, interview coaching, advice about networking more effectively, how to negotiate your offer or leadership coaching? Visit www.TheBigGameHunter.us and click the relevant tab on the top of the page.

JobSearchCoachingHQ.com offers great advice for job hunters—videos, my books and guides to job hunting, podcasts, articles, PLUS a community for you to ask questions of PLUS the ability to ask me questions where I function as your ally with no conflict of interest answering your questions.  

Connect with me on LinkedIn. Like me on Facebook.

You can order a copy of “Diagnosing Your Job Search Problems” for Kindle and receive free Kindle versions of “No BS Resume Advice” and “Interview Preparation.”

Don’t forget to give the show 5 stars and a good review in iTunes

If you want to know how to win more interviews, order “Winning Interviews.” You’ll learn how to win phone interviews, in-person interviews, the best question to ask on any interview and more.

Would you like to talk through a salary negotiation or potential negotiation you’re involved with? Order and schedule time with me.

Do you have questions or would like advice about networking or any aspect of your search. Order and schedule time with me.

Would you like me to critique your resume. Order a critique from me

For more about LinkedIn, order “Stacked: Double Your Job Interviews, Leverage Recruiters and Unlock LinkedIn.”

Jeff’s Kindle book, “You Can Fix Stupid: No BS Hiring Advice,” is available on Amazon.

About the author

Leave a Comment, Thought, Opinion. Speak like you're speaking with someone you love.

%d bloggers like this: