Friday, September 08, 2006

More surgery

Yesterday I might as well have stayed at home. There were only two surgeries scheduled, and it was the other two students' turn, and there was no clinic. I rounded on our patients for about 40 minutes in the morning, then went to school to study for several hours, went back to the hospital to check in on things, then studied in the work room for several more hours. When I was about to die from boredom I was finally able to go home. I just hate having to sit around with nothing to do, it drives me nuts. I can do nothing at home a lot more comfortably than doing nothing at the hospital. Adding to the problem was the fact that due to Bible study the night before I had only gotten 5 hours of sleep in--lack of sleep always puts me in an unpleasant mood.

Today was a bit better, much due the fact that I went to bed at 8:30 last night so I got a little more than seven hours of sleep. This morning I was in three short procedures, all dealing with an unpleasant part of the body (I am so thankful I was not the patient in all three of the cases). We didn't have to scrub in because the procedures were not sterile, and because there was not a lot of room I didn't really do anything other than watch and write the op notes. I will spare the details of the procedures, but one of them required a lot of suction and the circulating nurse's applying wintergreen fragrance to each of our surgical masks.

The cases were done before noon, and there was no clinic today, so again I and one of the other students sat around with nothing to do for a good long while. Later in the afternoon the intern had to admit a patient so I went with him and wrote up the history and physical (much shorter in surgery than in medicine!). Then I was able to go home.

Since as far as we can tell (we asked the senior resident, but she just made a joke and didn't actually answer the question) only one of us has to come in each weekend day, we each should get one more full weekend off this month. I was going to have it next weekend, but was paged when I got home to find out it will be tomorrow. I would have preferred next weekend, because taking this weekend off will mean I have to go three straight weeks without a full weekend, but hey, I'll take what I can get. We have actually gotten off a lot easier than the students on this rotation the month before us, they were working 75 hours a week, we have really only had to be there 10-12 hours a day. I still think I am interested in surgery as a career, most of the things I dislike about this rotation (not having anything to do, having to figure out how clinic works with four attendings, not having anything to do, etc) are only issues I have to deal with as a student, and will not be things I have to worry about as an attending. That is one of the hard things about being a student, one doesn't really get a realistic idea of what we will be doing for most of our lives, we just see what it is like to be a student and observe a little of what it is like to be a resident, both in an academic setting which I think is misleading.

There is not much going on aside from medical things. I have been reading a book about the Tudors. One of the things that struck me as interesting is that aside from the fact that all the royals marriages were arranged, the parents of the bride never seemed to have attended the wedding--they just shipped their daughters off with entourages. I guess what with not having as fast travel times back then it makes a little bit of sense, but come on.


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