Thursday, August 09, 2007

Breast Disease

My rotation is going well. It is very laid-back, and has its moments of boredom, but I am learning a lot. Friday I went to the pathology lab and went over breast cancer slides under the microscope with the pathologist from 0930-1030. Then I went home:). Monday I went to breast surgery clinic with the chief resident and a nurse practitioner. The NP mostly sees follow-up patients after surgery, so I didn't see any tumors. Tuesday I went to radiology--I spent the first three hours (literally) reading about mammography standards and categorizations in a dark corner of the dark room. After lunch I looked over mammograms with a radiologist. Wednesday there was only one breast case which was scheduled to go at noon--I kept calling the OR from home to make sure it wasn't going to go early, then just went in at noon. Then I proceeded to stand around the recovery room until 1330 when the case actually went. Toward the end of the case (lumpectomy with sentinel node biopsy), when I was looking forward to going home for a few hours before going to Bible study, a senior resident walked in and asked if he could steal me from my senior resident--for a thyroid case (they don't have a senior student and all the junior students were in lecture). Muttering darkly under my breath, I said I would be happy to, and one hour later scrubbed in on a thyroid lobectomy. It was actually interesting, especially since I have never been in a thyroid case before, and I was only 10 minutes late to my Bible study. This just reiterates what I have long held to be true, happiness in surgery is very dependent on expectations. When I have been on serious surgery rotations, and came to accept the fact that I would be in the hospital for looonnnggg periods of time, I could stay until two in the morning and go home not feeling ill-used. On the light rotation that I am on now, if I am in the hospital later than 1600, I get all bent out of shape.


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