Reflections on Surgery
I went into surgery scared. I heard rumors of crazy schedules, apathetic residents, confusing pimp sessions in the OR when you just don’t know what to say, and people cursing and yelling more than what’s considered to be normal. Well, all of things happened. I was at the hospital from 430am-630pm EVERY DAY. On weekends, it was only 5am-noon. I never worked so hard in my life, but the work was different than I expected. I had to work hard to be heard by residents and actually contribute to the team. I had to really come up with good ways to be involved in patient care. My goal everyday was to do one thing that was actually helpful for a patient, not just helpful for my education. When I scrubbed out of my last surgery, an emergent abdominal bleed due to a mets carcinoid tumor coming from the ED, I actually felt sad. I didnt want to go. I had been so busy, but I could sense I really loved surgery. But as I walked out on my last day feeling genuinely depressed it was over, I was certain I had loved it. Surgery is probably the most difficult rotations because of the exhaustion compounded onto a fast schedule. I barely had time to catch up with my own thoughts during the rotation, and it was only over this last weekend I realized what I thought about it and how to do well (I got my evaluations this weekend and I was told by an attending I was the “best medical student he’s ever worked with. I thought it was a prank, but apparently not!).
How to Succeed on Surgery Rotations: