Jun 15, 2016
5
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Status
Pre-Medical
Hi all,

About 3 years ago I was involved in a major construction accident resulting in the loss of a limb (bk), multiple skin grafts, and most recently removal of my bladder and a urinary diversion. After spending so much time inside the hospital and meeting so many wonderful professionals and patients, I began to take a major intrest in medicine. I was a awesome student in high school and only chose to go into construction because the pay was just "way too good" (should've took the don't work only for money advice) to pass up after growing up pretty poor. Now I am working my way through undergrad and doing well for myself both at school and in my recovery.

After my urinary diversion I am forced to cath q4, and this made me think..... will I be limited to certain specialties as a physician?

I am interested in-- plastics and ortho, as well as pmr (as of now..I'm still a young one on this long road)

How would a surgeon go about his/her day with a q4 cath schedule, possibility of skin breakdown in prosthesis, and other unforeseeable problems on the horizon?? Have you worked with anyone who has to deal with this before? How would a hospital work with a physician who needs accommodations?

I am very active-- i exercise mon-fri at the gym, walk 6000-10000 steps a day (so my fitbit tells me at least) and play hockey. I'm not so disabled that I can't walk, and I don't struggle with my daily routine.

Please be honest in your opinions, if you don't think these specialties are not a possibility for me.. please say so, I could really use all the advice I can get in making these decisions!

Thank you!

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Donald Juan

7+ Year Member
May 22, 2011
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Hi all,

About 3 years ago I was involved in a major construction accident resulting in the loss of a limb (bk), multiple skin grafts, and most recently removal of my bladder and a urinary diversion. After spending so much time inside the hospital and meeting so many wonderful professionals and patients, I began to take a major intrest in medicine. I was a awesome student in high school and only chose to go into construction because the pay was just "way too good" (should've took the don't work only for money advice) to pass up after growing up pretty poor. Now I am working my way through undergrad and doing well for myself both at school and in my recovery.

After my urinary diversion I am forced to cath q4, and this made me think..... will I be limited to certain specialties as a physician?

I am interested in-- plastics and ortho, as well as pmr (as of now..I'm still a young one on this long road)

How would a surgeon go about his/her day with a q4 cath schedule, possibility of skin breakdown in prosthesis, and other unforeseeable problems on the horizon?? Have you worked with anyone who has to deal with this before? How would a hospital work with a physician who needs accommodations?

I am very active-- i exercise mon-fri at the gym, walk 6000-10000 steps a day (so my fitbit tells me at least) and play hockey. I'm not so disabled that I can't walk, and I don't struggle with my daily routine.

Please be honest in your opinions, if you don't think these specialties are not a possibility for me.. please say so, I could really use all the advice I can get in making these decisions!

Thank you!

Sent from my SM-N920P using SDN mobile
Most specialties won't be a problem at all. But for surgeries they can sometimes run long. You have an Indiana pouch? Can't you slap a small foley in there and place an ostomy bag over it if you potentially had a 10 hour surgery?
 
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OP
MDCCLXXVI
Jun 15, 2016
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Most specialties won't be a problem at all. But for surgeries they can sometimes run long. You have an Indiana pouch? Can't you slap a small foley in there and place an ostomy bag over it if you potentially had a 10 hour surgery?
I do.

Yeah I suppose I could do something like that. I'll look into it. Thank you!

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Smurfette

Gargamel always had a thing for blondes.
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Having a BKA and urinary diversion should not limit your options. Certainly the suggestion about the foley was the first thing I thought of as well and is something to ask your doctor about down the road. Thankfully, most surgeries are under 4 hours. However, there are some cases that are ridiculously long. These are usually planned in advance, so you should be able to make the arrangements you need. And you can always scrub out briefly to take care of medical needs if you really need to.

Regarding the BKA, the only thing I can think of that you may need to be conscientious of is maintaining your balance in an OR (wet floors, awkward operating positions, step stools, reaching foot pedals, etc.). If you play hockey and are pretty active, odds are your balance is great and this is a non-issue. Certainly this would not affect your ability to be a surgeon, just in avoiding falls. As far as skin breakdown on your stump, there are a plethora of wound care supplies around a hospital that you could use if need be, and you just take care of it when you get a chance. I am assuming that walking vs. standing on a prosthetic limb causes different pressure points; if you go into a surgical field, you may need a limb or liner that is better for prolonged standing, but that's a question for an orthotist.

Hospitals will make accommodations for those who need it, so don't worry about that being an issue. I've seen physicians who are wheelchair bound, missing fingers (including a surgeon), others requiring various accommodations, etc. so you should be fine.
 

ACSurgeon

Acute Care Surgeon
10+ Year Member
Jun 8, 2008
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Lots of great advice above. I'll add that you should go into med school with an open mind and at least in theory but happy to do less competitive/demanding specialties. I don't want you to find yourself in a situation where you become depressed or unsatisfied with your career because you can't do a surgical specialty because of grades or new medical developments (i.e. new injury, tenuous stump, etc).
 
OP
MDCCLXXVI
Jun 15, 2016
5
0
Status
Pre-Medical
Thanks everyone for getting me pointed in the right direction. Gratitude.

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Jun 13, 2016
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309
Thanks everyone for getting me pointed in the right direction. Gratitude.

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Hey! I don't want to be at all discouraging because you sound committed and very passionate. I just wanted to say that I did plastics for my surgery rotation and scrubbed into to multiple procedures that were 10+ hours long that nobody was allowed to leave during due to the culture of the service. I may be biased because I hated to rotation but plastics did not seem like a very lenient service at least at my institution. That said, on literally every other rotation you wouldn't have had any issues because there was significant down time between patients. A guy one class up from me was in a wheelchair and matched IM with plan to do critical care. There are numerous type 1 diabetics in the Peds residency at my institution who likely cannot tolerate 11 hour procedures but are nonetheless rocking residency! Go for med school, just be flexible about what you may want to go into
 
C

CharakaComplex

Above advice is definitely good! For reference/reassurance/motivation, a relative lacks a left lower limb (transfemoral - thanks to an accident involving a heavy wardrobe) but pursues a successful career as a general surgeon. Although he does remove his prosthetic during surgery and uses a firm support that he can reliably put his weight on so that there aren't any prosthesis-related issues (slipping, accidentally bending the knee) while he works.