Saturday, December 1, 2012

Le fin surgery

Yesterday marked the last day of surgery. Because God does have a sense of humor, there wasn't anything to do until 2pm. My rotation partners and I literally sat around and did nothing from 10am when we finished our exam and the pediatrics grand rounds we were invited to until almost 2pm. While we were sitting there (I actually fell asleep for a good half hour at one point) we were hearing rumblings about a small bowel obstruction that was put on the schedule. Grand. Just what I needed on the last day when all I wanted to do was get out of here on time.

Luckily the doctor showed up on time (Shock me!) and the surgery started on time (Please pick me up off the floor). I felt completely superfluous in the surgery. I had scrubbed with this same doctor the day prior and actually got to get my hands dirty. Not today. The first assistant wasn't really needed either. All the doctor did was run his hands along the entirety of the small intestine, lop off the obstructed segment, and sew it all back up. Mostly a one-man job. I just kind of stood there like a bored idiot, trying to think of questions, no matter how obvious the answer was, to remind the doctor that I was indeed there, and not just an ugly piece of art propping up the table. The only thing of real interest to me was the fact that this was the patient's sixth surgery for an obstructed bowel, and her abdomen was covered in flowery, vine-like tattoos. What a pleasure to close that back up.

So now surgery is done. I enjoyed the actual operations and procedures, but I can unequivocally say that I did not enjoy the very unpleasant lifestyle and environment that the high-stress OR fosters. I wasn't looking to go into surgery before I started this rotation but I did enjoy it more than I thought I would. I must say I grew tired very quickly all of the unnecessary and at times unprofessional drama and pot-stirring instigated by one individual in particular who seemed to have an unwavering need to make us feel as insignificant as possible. This same individual is also the type of person who when she feels is correct will say anything and shred you alive if you do not agree with her. I felt like I learned a great deal, not just about surgery, but about the associated clinical and physiological aspects of the cases that I had the opportunity to work.

After our last day, most of my rotation partners joined for an evening of celebration. I must say I enjoyed myself immensely from the conversation, to the food, to the company. It's not often I'm in a group of people with whom I feel so at ease and on the same page. We started our evening in Wicker Park, and (somehow) ended the evening at the Hancock Center's 96th floor lounge. This was a first for me, and I enjoyed it immensely. 

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