swimming with the orthopods

The cartoon is stolen borrowed from Scutmonkey … it’s good stuff if you haven’t read the blog – go now.

Time is flying by and it’s hard to keep up. I’ve gone from anesthesia to orthopedics, from administering the gas to hammering on joints. The orthopedic surgeons are a very different breed from anesthesiologists, to say the least. The operating room during their procedures undergoes this transformation into a type of workshop that would would make a woodworker proud. There are all manner of power tools, along with hammers, chisels, bone smashers, etc. The surgeries are fun, but honestly after seeing one of each joint done I began to realize that there wasn’t much variability and that aside from oscillating between right and left there was much variability overall. The bread and butter of the orthopod seems to be hips and joints (thank you osteoarthritis!). With the population aging this is a potential goldmine, especially in a smaller community such as the one I’m in where people are either newly wed or nearly dead … I liked orthopedics, it’s a good field but it seemed a little too routine by the end.

If you have never dealt with an orthopedic surgeon let me just say that the comic is a good likeness, but there are exceptions. My preceptor was one of these exceptions, being a short efficacious man – a Napoleon of the OR, who moved at close to the speed of sound. Despite being twice as tall I had a hard time keeping up with him as he moved from patient to patient, teaching the entire time in a low voice which made proximity key to gleaning the pearls of information he was dispensing. He expected a lot from his students and, needless to say, I learned much in a short period of time.

I’m not quite out the OR yet and start general surgery on Monday.


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