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?

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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.
Operate
Remove glove
Operate
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?

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