I'm glad my training occurred on the cusp of these new developments. We learned to use external landmarks and to train our sense of touch to do most procedures, but we got enough exposure to the new devices to be able to integrate them into our practice. I don't want to lose the ability to manage a tough airway safely without the convenience of direct visualization, or to adjust an epidural needle based on my analysis of the contact point with certain tissues or portions of the vertebrae, or try an alternate, off-midline approach for a spinal in a patient with scoliosis. I want my familiarity with human anatomy to be like a current flowing through my movements and skills and not dependent on the ability to see what I am aiming for.
That said, I have to admit that being able to watch the human body at work from within never ceases to amaze me. If you're interested in seeing a human heart beating in the chest (time index 1:30) while undergoing surgery in an AWAKE patient, click here or see the video below, which describes the bold, innovative use of thoracic epidurals in India in order to allow patients to undergo cardiac surgery without a general anesthetic. Creative, daring, and impressive.