zambo

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"If you find any other specialty that you can see yourself doing instead of surgery, go into that specialty instead of surgery."

Another version of the saying:

"If you like any other specialty even half as much as you like surgery, go into that specialty instead of surgery."

I guess the moral of the story is if surgery isn't the only thing you can imagine yourself doing, then do something else.

For those of you who have been through or are going through general surgery residency, do you agree or disagree with this?
 

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zambo said:
"If you find any other specialty that you can see yourself doing instead of surgery, go into that specialty instead of surgery."

Another version of the saying:

"If you like any other specialty even half as much as you like surgery, go into that specialty instead of surgery."

I guess the moral of the story is if surgery isn't the only thing you can imagine yourself doing, then do something else.

For those of you who have been through or are going through general surgery residency, do you agree or disagree with this?

Disagree, it's not that easy. Choosing your career should not be a "rule out surgery" approach.

Those comments are most likely either coming from someone justifying why they didn't pick surgery, or they did pick surgery and they like to bear a big cross on their back. I especially wouldn't agree with the "half as much as surgery" part.

Basically, instead of focusing on things you like OTHER than surgery, I'd make sure that you really like surgery itself. Lots of med students/residents enjoy the sexy/heroic side of surgery, but not the grueling day-to-day reality of surgical practice....the real importance is in finding out that you like the whole package, and that you like it enough to work really, really hard.



Wow....that was a little preachey....... :oops:
 

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As a general surgery resident, I can honestly say...you really not only have to LOVE surgery...you really have to be willing to dedicate your life to surgery while a resident...I know of people that liked surgery, but weren't willing to sacrifice the hours spent with loved ones and friends to put in the DEMANDING time and hours required.

I am only in for a year..as I am going into Urology...but it is more demanding than I ever really expected...

So be forewarned...it is a HUGE HUGE committment...esp seeing my other intern friends in PM&R, Anesthesia, Dermatology...with no call and hanging out having fun...

Just something to seriously think about....
 
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Yosh said:
As a general surgery resident, I can honestly say...you really not only have to LOVE surgery...you really have to be willing to dedicate your life to surgery while a resident...I know of people that liked surgery, but weren't willing to sacrifice the hours spent with loved ones and friends to put in the DEMANDING time and hours required.

I am only in for a year..as I am going into Urology...but it is more demanding than I ever really expected...

So be forewarned...it is a HUGE HUGE committment...esp seeing my other intern friends in PM&R, Anesthesia, Dermatology...with no call and hanging out having fun...

Just something to seriously think about....
I don't know if you know this, but while you pointed out some residencies that are easier than surgery, I can't help but wonder if there aren't some non-sugical residencies that are equally as guelling. Perhaps, being a surgical resident, you could compare some residencies that are more or less equivalent to your training.

thanks for the info.
 

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Tori's dad said:
I don't know if you know this, but while you pointed out some residencies that are easier than surgery, I can't help but wonder if there aren't some non-sugical residencies that are equally as guelling. Perhaps, being a surgical resident, you could compare some residencies that are more or less equivalent to your training.

thanks for the info.

IM at UTSW...heard its more grueling than alot of surgery programs...and malignant to boot...kind of an all in one package.
 

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TxMed said:
IM at UTSW...heard its more grueling than alot of surgery programs...and malignant to boot...kind of an all in one package.
IM at UTSW is tough, but hardly malignant. You see everything, do everything, and come out exceptionally well trained. The department is flexible and most everyone gets the fellowship they want. If it as malignant as you say it is, residents wouldn't come back to become faculty at a place that mistreated them.

Some rotations are grueling, but none are malignant.
 
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Personally I always felt you should only be in G Surg if you love it. I work horrible hours, but am fortunate because I absolutely love what I do, and don't want to do anything else.
 

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I fall somewhere into the middle. Did I LOVE surgery? No, but I LIKED it better than anything else I did in medical school.

But without that deep abiding like for surgery, I would not have been able to sustain the hours, the humiliation, the bone-tiredness (for this was in the days before the 80 hr work restrictions). Then again, I grew up being taught that you have to do a lot of things in life you don't like and you don't give up or quit.

So, you have to have some enthusiasm for the subject, the ability to shrug your shoulders when the chips are down (and get the work done) and be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. If you don't have the work ethic as well as the enjoyment of the field, you won't last (just make sure you don't confuse not quitting with making yourself absolutely miserable).
 

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Its not an all or nothing, i love some aspects of surgery to death, and many NIGHTS i come home pretty happy (one month down). That "love" does tend to fade a bit when you been on call for a week (home call) and your getting killed, there has to be something more. Which reminds me that sometimes i think were tricked into believing our JOBS should be fun and fulfilling in a warm and fuzzy way at every moment. I dont care what you do this can never be true, and its a disservice to our generation to be fed that attitude, hopefully ppl realize that and can be content with what reality is: hopefully more good than bad.
 

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Kimberli Cox said:
Did I LOVE surgery? No, but I LIKED it better than anything else I did in medical school.
Very reassuring. Thanks :thumbup:
 

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Knight_MD said:
Very reassuring. Thanks :thumbup:
I've always been one of those people who liked a LOT of things, loved very few. Bear in mind, that this got me comments during residency like, "doesn't eat, sleep, breathe or live surgery" (this was supposedly a negative comment) or "seems interested in other things outside of surgery." - uhhh, yeah, I think that makes me "well rounded" and an interesting person.

That said, while I do think about work and patients once I've gone home, I hold the very controversial opinion that medicine is still a JOB and that its ok to have a life outside of the hospital. It IS possible to finish a surgical residency with the above attitude - just expect some grief from the traditionalists.
 

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Kimberli Cox said:
I've always been one of those people who liked a LOT of things, loved very few. Bear in mind, that this got me comments during residency like, "doesn't eat, sleep, breathe or live surgery" (this was supposedly a negative comment) or "seems interested in other things outside of surgery." - uhhh, yeah, I think that makes me "well rounded" and an interesting person.

That said, while I do think about work and patients once I've gone home, I hold the very controversial opinion that medicine is still a JOB and that its ok to have a life outside of the hospital. It IS possible to finish a surgical residency with the above attitude - just expect some grief from the traditionalists.
I really admire that you've gone through the whole training process and yet still see the importance of 'balance.' I'm working hard on doing the same...
 

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I can't wait to hear the complaining when the current crop of pre-med high school students that are right now being drawn to become surgeons through their extensive exposure to the field on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scrubs" become interns.

Perhaps a requirement of anyone going into a demanding specialty like surgery should be at least 2 years at a real non-medical full-time job so they can realize how much that sucks at times also.

Although I'm only a month and a half into my surgical internship I have to say that I go home very happy at my decision more days than not. But I'm also pragmatic enough to know that it may not always be that way...but that's Ok since just it will happen that way for just about anything you I would do as a profession.

It would have been impossible for me to say that I couldn't see myself enjoying any other specialty apart from, in my case, neurosurgery. I would enjoy lots of things. But to me surgery was, by far, the coolest. As a surgeon I get to do things that other people have decided is too demanding for them. Fine then, I'll do it.

And of course I just love all the socializing I get to do with the other surgical interns...rounding together in a great big team on my one patient for the day, cracking jokes between heart transplants and optic glioma resections, eating lunch together and then going out to the bar everyday...it's a blast!
 

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toxic-megacolon said:
I really admire that you've gone through the whole training process and yet still see the importance of 'balance.' I'm working hard on doing the same...
Well, as I noted it was not well received by some and I admit, at times, I spent too much time on "balance" and not enough with Cameron, Schwartz or Greenfield! ;)
 

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mpp said:
I can't wait to hear the complaining when the current crop of pre-med high school students that are right now being drawn to become surgeons through their extensive exposure to the field on "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scrubs" become interns.

Perhaps a requirement of anyone going into a demanding specialty like surgery should be at least 2 years at a real non-medical full-time job so they can realize how much that sucks at times also.

Although I'm only a month and a half into my surgical internship I have to say that I go home very happy at my decision more days than not. But I'm also pragmatic enough to know that it may not always be that way...but that's Ok since just it will happen that way for just about anything you I would do as a profession.

It would have been impossible for me to say that I couldn't see myself enjoying any other specialty apart from, in my case, neurosurgery. I would enjoy lots of things. But to me surgery was, by far, the coolest. As a surgeon I get to do things that other people have decided is too demanding for them. Fine then, I'll do it.

And of course I just love all the socializing I get to do with the other surgical interns...rounding together in a great big team on my one patient for the day, cracking jokes between heart transplants and optic glioma resections, eating lunch together and then going out to the bar everyday...it's a blast!
You're very early in your career, but refreshingly understand that there will be some days when you question your choice or find it just plain bites.

I never understood people who ONLY loved one thing - whether it be surgery, IM, or other. There are so many fascinating things about the human body and medicine, and even (dare I say), fields outside of medicine.

The black humor of surgeons and surgery residents was another factor that I really enjoyed. Matter of fact, the camaderie was one of the things that kept me going during those long nights on call.

best of luck to you.
 
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