Thursday, September 13, 2012

Not For Me

Now that I am officially done with surgery, I think I can safely say that it is not for me.  I like clinic wayyyy too much (surgeons are supposed to hate clinic with a vengeance), and I also really love writing notes (cue everyone ahead of me in the medical world rolling their eyes and thinking: oh just you wait, honey).

Don't get me wrong - being in the OR is really really awesome, and the idea of being able to go inside someone and just fixing them with your bare (but scrubbed and gloved) hands is so freaking cool (and I totally get the whole God complex thing - you are fixing someone WITH YOUR HANDS).

But once I got past the wow factor of seeing someone's insides manipulated, I've realized that my favorite part of surgery is actually seeing the patient each day after the operation on morning rounds and seeing what progress they've made.

I like hearing their stories; reading their charts; asking them about their ability to poop, pass gas, and ambulate ("have you passed any gas from below?" "you mean farted?"); meeting their family when they come to visit.

I've noticed that it's the lowest-level residents who spend the most time on the floors with the patients, and the least amount of time in the OR, and as you get more senior, you get to spend more and more time operating.  This makes sense, as the final goal of a surgical residency is, of course, to be doing surgeries (duh).  But I think I like what the lower residents do better!

Plus, I'm already bored of some surgeries.  After I saw like, two thyroidectomies, I was totally over them and chose not to scrub into any because I felt like I had already been-there-done-that.  But the same surgeon does at least a few of them every single day.  You probably lose some of the wow factor after your 50 billionth thyroidectomy.

Plus plus, writing long, detailed notes is like writing a story!  You get all this mumbo jumbo of information (uch, patients as historians are the worsttttt, amiright?), and you get to organize that info in such a way so that it is coherent and will make logical sense to anyone else who reads it.  Challenge accepted!  And rounding is just telling that story, hearing other people's stories, and coming up with the next chapter (sort of?).  I think I could handle the whole rounding-until-noon thing if I get me some comfier walking shoes.

Plus plus plus, the hourssssssss.

Soooo... internal medicine? yesnomaybe?


  1. Totally with you on some surgeries getting boring after just a few times of watching! How do they have the motivation to keep doing the same old procedure, day after day after day?

    "passed any gas from below" is the most hilarious terminology. We just say "have you passed wind" - everyone knows what that means.

    What is rounding? Is it some kind of active verb meaning to do a ward round?

  2. congratulations on finishing your surgery rotation! i love reading your posts - keep them coming :)

  3. Thanks Jane!!

    TTBA, I guess if you love something enough it never really becomes monotonous. Doing a ward round is not a term I've heard, but I would bet that rounding is the same thing - going from patient to patient with the whole team and discussing any overnight events and the plan for the day. Medicine's rounds are notoriously long while surgery's are remarkably short.