Sep 19, 2020
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I'm an MS3 preparing to apply for orthopedic surgery residency. I get told all the time to be sure to ask "good" questions during surgeries/procedures but I don't really know what's good vs what's bad. Any specific examples of good Q's like, say, in trauma or hand cases? I feel like I just don't know so much I don't even know where to begin on what to specifically ask about. And I don't want to be the idiot that asks a question at a bad time during a procedure (yes I know just watch and read the room), but I feel like it can be hard to get a comment or question in especially when residents are there to learn to do the procedure and I'm just an extra person in the room. Sorry- I promise I'm not socially inept, I just feel a lot of pressure to come across as a good student and a good potential resident and I feel more passion for ortho than I do any other service by a long shot. Just want to do my best!
 

numberwunn

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I'd recommend asking a question which shows that you have some sense of what's going on/ have done some reading and are interested in the surgeon's opinion on something controversial or learn about something you don't understand. For example - if you are doing an acl. You ask the surgeon - I know that allograft ACLs have a higher failure rate, are there any situations where you'd think about using one?

There's a balance though, as you don't want to be a know it all or obviously brown nosing. Basically if you read a modicum before the case and then have a semi-educated question fire away. Don't over think it

On second thought it's also ok to ask for an orientation. I.e. doing scopes it's easy to get disoriented. Ask - I know I'm supposed to see x y z but I'm not sure what I'm seeing here.
 
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Sep 19, 2020
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I'd recommend asking a question which shows that you have some sense of what's going on/ have done some reading and are interested in the surgeon's opinion on something controversial or learn about something you don't understand. For example - if you are doing an acl. You ask the surgeon - I know that allograft ACLs have a higher failure rate, are there any situations where you'd think about using one?

There's a balance though, as you don't want to be a know it all or obviously brown nosing. Basically if you read a modicum before the case and then have a semi-educated question fire away. Don't over think it

On second thought it's also ok to ask for an orientation. I.e. doing scopes it's easy to get disoriented. Ask - I know I'm supposed to see x y z but I'm not sure what I'm seeing here.
Thank you so much!!
 
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numberwunn

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Depends on subspecialty. Skeletal trauma or r&g for trauma, green's for hand, man's for foot, etc. Yellow journal (jaaos) has lots of good review articles. Ask your resident beforehand and they should be able to help you out. At least review anatomy
 

KinasePro

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I'd say less is more with respect to questions in the OR. It's hard to ask a good question at the perfect time, and quite honestly the odds are that your question will be at least mildly annoying. Just being honest. One surgeon I trained with used to say "you teach outside the OR and before the case, not during the case," meaning the surgery and patient are what ppl should be focusing on--not random topic XYZ that can be taught when you're not operating.

I'd recommend focusing on being helpful, anticipating what the next steps will be, being a good first or second assist, knowing how to suture, and sticking with the patient before/during positioning and during transition to PACU. Think of the surgery as a team activity, and you're going to do whatever you can with your limited skillset to make it go more smoothly. Help the nurses, let the scrub tech correct you on random things without being insulted, and be a good/nice/normal colleague first and foremost. Those are the things that impress the team a lot more than the quality of questions you ask.

In all of the rank meetings I've been through, I can't recall a single time it was mentioned that someone "asked great questions" in the OR. They instead mention your disposition, personality, durability, focus, attention span, and general ability to function during cases in the OR.
 
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