This is me and Tiller, while I studied for Step 1: Continue reading
My time on trauma was probably the most intense three weeks of medical school so far – even compared to the three weeks leading up to a major block exam, like I’ve written about before. When you hear “trauma,” you think of crazy accidents and dramatic TLC reenactments and emergency surgeries. There is some of that, but the majority of the time is spent in the ICU after someone has been stabilized “status post” getting hit by a Volvo. In other words, critical care. Continue reading
Just Say Yes
As I mentioned before, surgery is a tremendous learning experience. I’d contend, though, that the amount of clinical and “book” knowledge is met or even exceeded by the so-called “shadow curriculum” – the socialization into the life of medicine that goes far beyond the words in a textbook. It’s why you can’t simply read everything and know what you need to be a doctor. Continue reading
Turns out you don’t have much time to blog during surgery. At my school, the surgical rotation is split in three: two weeks for a “subspecialty” rotation, which for me was anesthesia, and then three weeks each for paired general surgery services. My pairings were trauma and laparoscopic GI surgeries, better known as “GI-Lap.” Continue reading
“Go To Sleep, Or I Will Put You To Sleep”
My first taste of surgery, the first two weeks, was on the anesthesiology service. Anesthesia was awesome. It’s a “surgical” specialty that has magical hours: my day usually ran from 6:30 to around 5 in the afternoon. Compared to trauma, where the hours can only be described as horrible (we’ll get there), this was a cakewalk. A typical day: Continue reading
The Downhill Ritual
It has been a rough four weeks for humor.
Last time I wrote, I was finishing up my OB/GYN rotation – may it forever stay in my past – and beginning surgery. My first two weeks on surgery were in anesthesia, which has scant moments of humor. Now I’m rotating through the trauma service, which is essentially The ICU For People Who Get Hit By Volvos. So that, plus needing time to sleep, equals no posts in a month. Continue reading
Performing Tumor Surgery, Or Why You Need Physics
I complained for the duration of my entire postbac program about physics.
Why do premeds have to take a year of physics plus the associated labs? What possible relevance does shooting metal balls out of a rubber band launcher, and tracking how far they fly, have for medicine? Why is my professor such a disinterested teacher? Why do I have to sit through an hour of tutorial a week?
This morning, all my questions were answered. I, with the help of the electronic circuits unit from second semester physics, successfully performed surgery.
Am I a doctor? No. Am I in medical school? No. But I, surgical instruments in hand, spent my early Sunday morning removing a tumor from a patient – an unsightly but benign tumor that was causing significant distress to the patient’s family members.
I am of course talking about the buzzer on my dryer. Continue reading