Sunday, October 29, 2006

CT stuff, cont.

I just shattered the 80 hour work week—actual number now is 90. Yesterday I had to round/call consults/pull chest tubes from 6:00 to noon, then came home thinking I would have the afternoon off, go to bed early, and have all day Sunday to relax and do housework. Ha. I went back in at 3:00 for an emergent bypass—the fellow had to work on harvesting the saphenous vein from the leg, so I actually got to first assist the surgeon for a while—much more fun than just watching. When the fellow was done, I got to close a lot of the skin and bandage the leg. The bypass went by very quickly (4-5 hours) for a bypass, and I was excited to still get home and be able to get enough sleep that I could go to church in the morning. Naturally, it was about that moment that the cath lab called and said that yet another man with crushing chest pain was just discovered to have 90% occlusion of his LAD coronary artery. To make a long story short, I left the hospital at 1:30am. It actually was very interesting though as this latter surgery was done off bypass with the heart beating—up til then I had only seen bypasses with the heart stopped. It makes for a much faster surgery. One thing that I have learned on this rotation that I was clueless about before is the closing times of the fast food restaurants where I live. Would you believe Burger King is the only one open til 2:00?

All in all, this has been a pretty good month. The surgeries I have seen are by far the most exciting and interesting surgeries I have ever seen (in my admittedly very limited experience). It is amazing to just see a beating human heart, let alone touch it and work on it. The surgeries are literally life saving, adding on years to someone’s life expectancy with just hours of labor. However, the lifestyle is horrible—I thought my general surgery month took a lot of time, compared to this it’s nothing. Once I got used to it, being at the hospital 70-90 hours a week is surprisingly doable, but you have to be able to give up every other commitment in your life. I can’t imagine being married, much less having kids on this rotation. It was not a surprise for me to find out that CT surgeons have a 90% divorce rate, a statistic well reflected by the CT surgeons at my school. Several of them are already on their third wife and their kids completely resent them. So, while I am very glad to have had this experience, I think I can safely say that CT surgery is not going to be an option for me.


Anonymous Alice said...

Chris - I hope you've gotten some sleep since this last post! I can't believe your school makes medical students work these hours. But I would almost trade for the sake of seeing those open heart surgeries.

4:23 PM  

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