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Help!-Operating Room

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Ben25, May 4, 2007.

  1. Ben25

    Ben25 2+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2007
    I am shadowing with a group of surgeons for the summer. I have just finished freshman year of undergrad, with cumm. gpa of a 3.87, science gpa 3.92. I'm majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry. Since I do not have any background in medicine, I feel kind of lost during their procedures. Does anyone know any websites/textbooks, that will outline the procedure for stuff like a laparoscopic cholecystectomy or a hysterectomy? Thanks for you help.
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  3. momtwo

    momtwo 2+ Year Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    I am just a Mom. I looked at your post b/c of the title "help". (Us Mom's like to help). I wouldn't think the surgeons would expect you to know any of their terminology when you are shadowing. I can understand that you'd be curious to know what they're talking about - or maybe it would help you to be able to follow the conversation in surgery better - but they know you are just shadowing as an undergraduate student now. They know it'll be many years before you know all those terms and procedures and at that point you'd be expected to know those things but not now.
  4. AnesthesiaMD

    AnesthesiaMD 2+ Year Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    Keep that GPA up! Nice Job!
  5. dabiophyz

    dabiophyz 2+ Year Member

    Mar 4, 2007
    I shadowed a few surgeons last summer. I had no idea what they were talking about most of the time, but I found that they loved when I would ask questions. You really will have the feel the person out first, since a really uptight surgeon won't be down with that, but odds are, if he is letting an undergrad shadow him, he will be happy to answer. I don't suggest reading about them and trying to talk about the procedure because you'll just look like a tool that is trying to hard. If anything, ask them if they have any suggested reading once you start.
  6. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    They should explain the procedure to you as they go. And with the lap. procedure you'll be able to see it as it happens. After you sit through a few you'll get the hang of it.

    If you are shadowing general surgeons, be prepared for a lot of colonoscopies LOL:laugh:
  7. emaj1n

    emaj1n M1 2+ Year Member

    Oct 16, 2006
    And for 100 SDN points, spot the unneccessary information that always seems to appear in SDN posts.
  8. Tired

    Tired Fading away 7+ Year Member

    Dec 12, 2006
    Do you know what cases you have before you go in? If not, forget trying to read anything. However, if you know what surgery you have the next day, or the patient's diagnosis, just do a quick google search or emedicine search. That should be plenty.

    I doubt they expect you to know anything, so even if you know a little bit, you'll look like a superstar.

    Off the top of my head, the general things you might want to look at is:
    - basic pathophysiology of the disease
    - indications for surgery
    - alternatives to surgery
    - general anatomy

    Definitely don't try to understand the procedure. Even as a med student, it will be rare for anyone to expect you to know the steps involved in the surgery itself.
  9. bananaboat

    bananaboat Senior Member 5+ Year Member

    Aug 8, 2005
    his fantastic gpa?
  10. TypeA

    TypeA Hola peeps. 10+ Year Member

    Feb 28, 2006
    BINGO! Rod, tell them what they have won! :laugh:
  11. Beau Geste

    Beau Geste yah mo b there Bronze Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Cheeky monkey! :banana:
  12. Ben25

    Ben25 2+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. Actually the group of about 7 surgerons I am following ask me constantly if I have questions. I feel that I have to know something to ask questions, so sometimes I'm afraid to ask for fear of it being stupid. Although the one general surgeon told me that I need to ask more questions so I can learn. They are a pretty good group and after the operation they go through the anatomy books with me and draw pictures.
  13. jochi1543

    jochi1543 President, Gunner Central 2+ Year Member

    Apr 4, 2007
    Alberta, Canada
    I have a 3.51, 1390 on my SATs, waiting for the MCAT results, and I would like to contribute to this thread.

    I didn't read sh!t before I watched the surgeries. My 1st surg was a breast reduction and I spent like 3 hours chatting with the surgeon during the operation, both about what he was doing and about med school stuff and life in general. The surgery was so simple, I walked out of there thinking I could honestly do it myself (of course if I had a professional rescue team standing by for that one moment where I'd accidentally slice into her heart :laugh: ).

    The 2nd one I watched was a laproscopic surgery, a uterine polyp removal. I don't think ANYONE knew what was going on there. There were like 9 people in the room including me, the nurses, the surgeon, and the anesthesiologist and the entire 15 mins they just stared at the screen asking each other "what's that? what's that? I can't see anything! Do you know what this is?" Then the surgeon came to the realization that she had punctured the woman's uterus with the camera and "that" was the patient's intestines. She then left without saying a word.

    Different surgeon, obviously.

    And not one I'll ever be seeing, obviously.:scared:
  14. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus 5+ Year Member

    May 30, 2001
    Gone Walkabout!
    At this point check out <> or do a Google search for these procedures. You will be able to get as much info as you need to know the basic approaches/complications/procedure. A surgical textbook isn't going to be of much help and you don't have enough clinical anatomy to appreciate scanning an operative atlas. Ask questions before you go into the procedure. Most surgeons will explain what they are going to do so that you can understand the basics. Don't speak during the case unless you are spoken to. Write down your questions and ask the after the case is done.
  15. badasshairday

    badasshairday Vascular and Interventional Radiology 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    I have a 3.9 at UC Berkeley and had a 3.5 at the JC I went to. I also am scoring in the mid 40s on my MCAT practice tests. I too would like to be a part of this thread.

    That is very cool that you are shadowing a group of surgeons.
  16. bluesTank

    bluesTank Zombie 5+ Year Member

    Feb 2, 2007
    College Station, TX
    Of course you are lost during their procedures, you are a freshman in college. Just go for the experience of being there, you don't go to learn what they are actually doing.

    And has fun virtual surgery.
  17. riceman04

    riceman04 10+ Year Member

    Mar 21, 2005
    Los Angeles
    yeah....definite sign of insecurity!!!
    Many people on here don't realize you don't have to prove anything to anyone...but premeds are notoriously insecure!!!! For many of us, our identity is defined by our gpa.

    But each his own
  18. jojocola

    jojocola Senior Member 2+ Year Member

    May 19, 2006
  19. GuzzyRon

    GuzzyRon Son of the Son of Man 10+ Year Member

    Good for you :rolleyes:
  20. Wackie

    Wackie Inappropriate, always 5+ Year Member

    Mar 20, 2006
    Home with the Armadillo

    I think you missed the joke.

    OP, you can pick up a basic medical terminology book and start learning some of the vocab. I think that will help you more than learning about all the individual procedures. When they explain the procedure to you, or when they're doing the procedure and explain that interesting something-something lying superior to the something-something and do you see that fissure, you have a chance at having a clue as to wth they're talking about.
  21. lina123321

    lina123321 ralph: im a unitard 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2006
    over the rainbow'd u get that opportunity?
  22. Jccripe

    Jccripe 2+ Year Member

    Sep 12, 2006

  23. Ben25

    Ben25 2+ Year Member

    Mar 3, 2007
    I have been working in a pharmacy since 10th grade. The pharmacist's wife is a RN in the OR. So she asked if I would be allowed to follow them for a day. I wrote thank-you notes to all of them and thanked them in person for letting me observe. The RN said, the surgeons thought I was so nice and appreciative, that I would be allowed to shadow all summer, or anytime I wished as long as a called a few days in advance. So I kind of fell into this opportunity.
  24. MossPoh

    MossPoh Textures intrigue me 7+ Year Member

    Apr 24, 2006
    Tally/Willkillya County
    You go with the flow. You shouldn't be focused on the tiny details of the procedures and how to do should focus on the experience. See if it is something you want to do. Don't be afraid to ask anyone questions either.....personally I have learned just as much from talking to the nurses and PAs as the physicians I have shadowed. Actually, the PA that worked with one of the surgeons explained everything step by step for me. (The surgeon was a mumbler) Just take in the whole thing. You'll feel the lights, the nice smell like burned hair when they cauterize....all sorts of stuff. The laparscopic is my personal fave isn't what you'd think of as surgery, but it is really cool stuff. You'll learn plenty without reading me. Befriend the surgical tech and the anesthesiology people too....most likely you'll be kind of getting in their way to get a better angle.
  25. phantomx87

    phantomx87 Wishing I was a bum 5+ Year Member

    OP, the best advice I can give you is to feel out some of the residents (jr. residents are great for this, but also some very cool sr. residents as well) and simply talk to them. I have been with neurosurgery since July 2006, and some of the best information I've gotten was with one of the sr. residents during exposure. I understand that it may be difficult and intimidating to ask them for help or clarification, but you have to remember that they were all in your position at one time or another.

    You have to feel the people out for a little while before you go asking. On the whole, though, most every surgeon worth his/her licks would love to help you (or anyone GENUINELY interested for that matter) as long as they see you trying. The caveat to this whole argument is if you seem disinterested... If that situation ever comes up, work like hell (both in the OR and in clinic) to make up for it!

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