That’s right it’s time for my rotation through general surgery. To be honest, though I would never admit this to the attending, I had crossed surgery off the list a long time ago. I simply don’t have the stamina – it’s sad but true. I came into medical school a little older than the average student having worked in the real world a number of years before deciding to try medicine and there are aspects of that old life that I really enjoyed and hope to have back at some point after school is done. The problem I have with surgery is that the residency expectations are absolutely insane! It strikes me that the pace set in medical school only gets worse in surgery leaving less time for family, friends, hobbies, or any interest outside of surgery. So, simply from residency requirement point of view, I have never considered surgery too seriously. Mind you I could be wrong as I am an outsider looking in at this point. But if my first couple of days in surgery are any indication I think I have made the right choice.
First I should say that the preceptor I have for surgery is great. Pimps, but not too much, allows me to help where I can and keeps me engaged – and you really can’t ask for much more than that as a student. I have also had the chance to work with a couple of other surgeons and been less impressed. For example, one surgeon had me scrub in on a surgery involving the navel. Sounds interesting you might think, but honestly I could see nothing and had nothing to do but hold the scissors just in case this particular surgeon needed them. Sometimes I fail to see the educational value of participating in operations where I can neither see nor do anything. In cases like the navel operation it seems like it would be better to just take the time and read as opposed to be another body in the room but I guess I’ll have to wait and see if that is the norm or just an anomaly. The good news is that I am back with my preceptor on Wednesday, the bad news is that there promises to be a lot more retractor holding until then!