August 6, 2009

Surgery... Is Tough

The general consensus of the third year rotations is that surgery is the toughest rotation to get through. I didn't necessarily pooh-pooh this assertion, but I said to myself: "Self, you enjoy surgery. How bad can it really be?" After the first week of 3:30am mornings, walking home at 8pm realizing I need to be awake in 7 1/2 hours, still have to eat (since I haven't all day), and read up on my cases the next day, I have come to the conclusion that surgery... is tough.

This definitely creates a tension for me regarding my future. Surgery has been at the top of my list since the start of med school, and I've really enjoyed the rotation. I love being in the OR and time generally flies by while I'm in the hospital. But the moment you step outside those hospital doors, you realize just how tired you are and just how much your life sucks. There's been a lot of criticism of med school graduates choosing "lifestyle" as one of the major determining factors in choosing their future medical specialty. But when you're in the middle of a 96 hour week (sssshhhhh, we're only supposed to be working 80), watching the attendings crawl home at 7 or 8pm daily just as you are, you start to realize in a hurry just how much lifestyle can bolster or sink your happiness.

I'm on the colorectal surgery service. Which means obesity, obesity, and morbid obesity. I'm hoping to post some stories soon, because I've seen some crazy sh*t (no pun intended). But tomorrow is my birthday, so I plan to spend it how anyone would hope to spend it: On call on trauma service on a Friday night. Woooooo surgery!


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! Yay for your plans?

I'm about to be an MS1, thanks for the blog.

Anonymous said...

I'm an MS4 and have selected surgery for my residency. I have to comment that if you have loved sugery since the beginning of MS1, give yourself more time to experiene all the realms of it because even though it can be tough, it is very rewarding.

Anonymous said...

stumbled across your blog from SD...loving it and loving you already :)

Bruce said...

Hang in there! Keep your eyes open for which surgeon could be a mentor. That will make it easier to decide if this is the right specialty for you.

rlbates said...

I would echo Bruce (Dr Campbell). Find someone like him to mentor you. Best wishes and Happy "belated" Birthday!