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I HATE SURGERY (how to survive my rotation!)

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by e2k, Nov 27, 2001.

  1. e2k

    e2k Member

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    ARRGH! All we do is poke our fingers into people's butts, prod their gall bladders, and stay up all night waiting for more butts and gall bladders to come our way.

    I scrubbed in on surgery today and I got to hold retration! Whopie! I was supposed to be grateful for that! All surgeons should have special ID badges that say: Soon I will be sticking my finger up your butt.

    Yesterday we did a rigid sigmoidoscopy on an elderly woman. She was deaf, so we couldn't adequately prepare her for what she was about to experience.

    I had always thought that a sigmoidoscope was a relatively benign device. It is a 40 cm long metal tube, twice as thick as your thumb, and we rammed it up the woman's butt. She was bleeding from a rectal tumor, and there was blood and feces everywhere. The surgeon took a scraping and shoved the smelly sample right in our faces to make sure that we got a good look.

    Funny, I've been in Surgery only two days now. I was looking forward so much to this rotation, and now I'm just trying to think of ways to fall into a coma for 2 months so it will be over. To think I wanted to be a surgeon at one point!

    Any comments, advice?

    Thank you for listening to this rant.
     
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  3. Toadkiller Dog

    Toadkiller Dog Senior Member

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    Just be thankful that you only have 2 months.

    At our school we have THREE (12 weeks). It must be done all at once, all at the same hospital.

    I just can't wait. Surgery sucks, and the saddest thing is that surgeons don't realize how bad it sucks and how bad the current view of it is (especially general surg).
    They still think they're the Green Berets of medicine.

    Maybe in 5 years when they realize that none of their new crop of interns speak English, or comes from America, they will wake up.
     
  4. KyGrlDr2B

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    I must say that the first post gave me quite a laugh. Until I realized that will be me in 3 years. :( Do a lot of you agree with that post??
     
  5. PimplePopperMD

    PimplePopperMD Senior Member

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    Alas, you didn't mention the wonderful waking of patients at 445am to query about the presence of flatulence.

    Or the fact that, as a student, we are required to anticipate what the surgeon will do next... when we do, we are yelled at. When we don't, we are yelled at.

    Surgery was my personal purgatory. How glad I am that I have paid for my sins, and that I am no longer expected to take such crap from the lousy surgery residents!
     
  6. KyGrlDr2B

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    PimplePopperMD: Is that a reference to Seinfeld in your name?? :D
     
  7. realruby2000

    realruby2000 Senior Member

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  8. Voxel

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    In reply to the last message, I'm sure there are professional ways of handling things instead of yelling back at "attending physicians". You have to be better than that and not loose your cool. Yelling back is a immature response and unless something horendous happened, I'd keep quite about it until the rotation was over and the surgery grade was in (anonymously). Also for people who plan on going into surgery, this is a very bad thing to do as it demostrates lack of control and potentionally yet another colleague who "flys off the handle" (believe me general surgery has more than their share). General surgery is a small field people know people, be careful. In fact, medicine is a small world and doctors know each other. Stay professional at all times in all environments If you feel the need to yell, do so in your room or go out for a jog to relieve the stress. You will be happier in the end if you are not known for throwing temper tantrums.
     
  9. JS-UNMC

    JS-UNMC Senior Member

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    There are only two reasons not to do a DRE... no fingers... no rectum.

    Much love, you're future colorectal surgeon!
     
  10. mrp

    mrp Member

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    I don't really know how this happened, but I managed to get through 3 months of surgery this summer without doing a SINGLE rectal exam. Amazing. And I didn't even actively avoid them--it just never came up.

    Also, I had ONE night of call at the hospital. All others were the "why don't you just go home and i'll call you if anything happens" variety of call. And the inern would never call.

    Overall, I had a GREAT surgery rotation! And the real capper is that I got honors!

    -mrp
     
  11. mrp

    mrp Member

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    I don't really know how this happened, but I managed to get through 3 months of surgery this summer without doing a SINGLE rectal exam. Amazing. And I didn't even actively avoid them--it just never came up.

    Also, I had ONE night of call at the hospital. All others were the "why don't you just go home and i'll call you if anything happens" variety of call. And the inern would never call.

    Overall, I had a GREAT surgery rotation! And the real capper is that I got honors!

    -mrp
     
  12. Toadkiller Dog

    Toadkiller Dog Senior Member

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    Where the #[email protected]#& do you go to school? Romania? Thailand? A DO school with only preceptorships and no "real" rotations?

    And in response to the person above who stated that they would chew out their professor: You are obviously not in medical school. Being condescended to, made to feel dumb, and just plain chewed out are part of the medical school experience. It's sort of like training for the Navy Seals. They do it to you because they can, and because it was done to them, and because it makes them feel powerful, and all under the pretenses of "you are med students. you're supposed to be the best. we should be able to push you as hard as we want." I mean jeez, don't you even watch "Scrubs"?
     
  13. Yale Medical Students are not required to preround nor are they really required to take call at the hospital (Yale-Affiliated Program) we rotate through as a Transitional Year Intern. In fact, very little is expected of them. The students scrub in on the surgeries that interest them and do very little scutwork.
     
  14. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator
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  15. Honestly, we (TY interns) were kinda suprised at how little was expected of the Yale students on the surgical service. At YNHH, the service may be run differently, and I won't really know until I do my rotations there later in the year.

    Gosh, could you send some of your classmates here for my medicine and surgery months? ;) I would love to have some students doing my dictations. Depending on the student, they do H&Ps, pre/post-ops, BONs, progress notes (not necessarily before we round), get films read, get labs, retract :) , attend conferences/lectures, etc. Actually, I think it's great for them. They have plenty of time to read and aren't beat throughout the day because they aren't really post call. Technically, we can call them in for interesting admissions/surgeries, etc., but we don't usually make the medical students come back in or stay late.

    At the beginning of internship, the TY interns were all really dreading our surgery months and envying the medicine prelims who had night float and had q4 short call. Now, five months into internship, we've all agreed that we'd rather be on the surgical service with overnight call than be on medicine (I think this also has to do with the fact that TY interns are mainly going into Anesthesia, Rads, Ophtho, etc., and thus usually hate medicine in general). Once you get the routine down, the surgery service is really straightforward, you get to do a lot of procedures, and you get to see instantaneous improvement (hopefully). I would NEVER want to do a surgery residency, but it's not too bad for a few months.
     
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  17. PimplePopperMD

    PimplePopperMD Senior Member

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    KyGrlDr2B: good catch!

    real ruby: tell me about it! When a surgeon continued to yell, and yell, and yell at me, telling me that what I had said was "the stupidest thing he had ever heard, I just had to learn when to SHUT [email protected]" I was thinking to myself, instead of "how stupid am I?" ... "In the 59 years that this guy has been around, I was the one... it was ME... who was able to come up with the stupidest thing he had ever heard. Isn't that cool?"

    It really didn't bother me, because i had been in the rotation a few weeks, and one develops a truly thick skin (or drops out, i suppose). I actually thought it was funny. What an ass. (He ended up giving me a good grade -- he told me that he expected great things out of me -- maybe that's why he treated me like crap?)
     
  18. cardigan

    cardigan Member

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    All right, all right... in defense of Yale Medical students:

    1) I'm not sure what Yale Affiliated TY you are at, but I assume its HSR. Only 1-2 medical students rotate there per month, usually by choice. These are likely to be (and I know this is an unfair generalization), the ones least interested in surgery

    2) At YNHH, students are certainly expected to preround, to finish progress notes before rounds, to do H&P's, retract, get films, call consults, and we generally take call q3 on surgery. We do not stay overnight because there are not sufficient call rooms. Usually students will leave around midnight. We generally do wish to be paged for interesting cases after we leave, but
     
  19. B-Flatblues

    B-Flatblues Member

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  20. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  21. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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  22. Future GI Guy

    Future GI Guy Hoo Hoo....

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    I just finished my surgery rotation yesterday, and will take the shelf exam tomorrow at 830! It's nice to finish another rotation, especially when you are expecting it to be hell.

    However, I was pleasantly surprised with my rotation. First of all, I never got yelled at by an attending or a resident. The only time I got yelled at was by a scrub nurse in the OR, who was pissed whenever I contaminated myself. That was it. And the attending physician made him pay for yelling at me.

    On wards, we pre-rounded (gathering Vital Signs and Labs...no physical until the Chief got there) and we would be scutted for micro results or to fetch x-rays. But, the chief also took us through inserting chest tubes in the ICU. With our own hands! (Watch one, do one, teach one, he would say.) So that was a nice trade off. When the attending would scrub out (at the end of the surgery), our chief would let us suture with him (and he would never, ever yell when we got it wrong or was too slow).

    When I was on trauma call one night, we got many traumas at once, the residents were dealing with those while I was first assist to the attending trauma surgeon. There's nothing quite like a 5 hour operation at 2am to really teach you anatomy.
    And he would ask me questions (not pimp questions), about what I thought certain structures used to be (this patient was very, very traumatized). It was pretty cool. Very educational.

    At my school, it's interesting. You often find that attendings love the medical students and yell at the residents. It's terrific! Malignancy was definitely present, but there was a genuine effort to direct anger away from the medical students.

    I am not going to be a surgeon, (Medicine is the field for me), but I'm here to tell you that people can have a terrific rotation, even when they think it'll be horrible. Good luck to you all.
     
  23. styphon

    styphon Senior Member
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    I have thought that maybe General Surgery was the field I was the most interested in...Then I read these posts and I started doubting that..I don't want to spend over a decade learning so I can stick do rectum operations.
    Then there is GI Guy's post..Where do you go to college GI Guy?
     
  24. Future GI Guy

    Future GI Guy Hoo Hoo....

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    I go to school at the University of Missouri--Columbia (School of Medicine). Mizzou is the nickname.

    It's a typical, mid-western allopathic medical school.

    And btw, if you go into surgery, you won't spend all your life doing rectal examinations or rectal surgeries.

    I did about 50 digital rectal exams while on Medicine, and none while on Surgery.

    However, if you stop at General Surgery, (that is, if you don't do a fellowship afterwards), you'll likely spend a great deal of your time doing GI stuff (appy's or chole's...etc.)

    Anyway, I'm sick of studying for the shelf exam, but I need to return to it.

    Good luck.
     
  25. Ponyboy

    Ponyboy Senior Member

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  26. Biz Markie

    Biz Markie Senior Member

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    If a surgeon resident was giving me flack and yelling at me, I would take that sample and make him eat it, then take the clamps and clamp his balls, then stab him.
     
  27. immediate

    immediate Junior Member

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    Wow. I thought the initial message was childish and ridiculous, but there have been a steady stream of immature, short-sighted emails in this stream. Just so you know, I am not going into general surgery, but if I were responsible for a life in my care and had to turn over some control to resident and students, i would be a little on edge too. As for yelling, there my be some use to it as it forces people to pay attention and take the situation as seriously as possible. If you can't take it, stand in the corner. As for rectal exams and feces being thrust into your face, their are many people in this world with personality disorders and you will find a few in the OR, in the medicine clinic and certainly in the pathology lab.
    Quit whining and take your job as seriously as you should.
     
  28. beasley

    beasley New Member

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    Semper Fi immediate, Semper Fi!!!
     
  29. A post asked why don't medical student yell back at the attendings when they are yelled to (which clearly shows that you are not in medical school).

    Well, like another post implied, medical students are supposed to take whatever the faculties throw at us. I can't say that my school has many faculty like that, because, so far, everyone of them who I have talked to would bend backwards to accomodate the students. Most of them know that they are role models for the younger generation of doctors and they behave superbly professional in front of students. I am hoping this will hold true into my rotation.

    But, while I have never been yelled at (...yet?), I have definitely know of rumors of faculty treating students like dirt (these stories tend to run wild in surgerically related specialties). They know that they have power over you, because if you dare retaliate, you might just as well kiss your Honor or Pass goodbye. Also, given that you *will* spend the rest of your life in the very tight medical community where reputation often precedes your credential, you will be committing political suicide if you have an attending as your enemy. All in all, medical students go through medical school hoping for the best educational experience ever, but like every aspect of life, sometimes @#$%*& happens and you just can't do anything about it.

    Also, one of my professors told us that most of us will try to be the best mentors in the future, some of us will become the biggest @#$%& that we grew to hate during our career... Its up to us to decide what kind of doctor we want to be.
     
  30. Hannibal Gabriel

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    God created surgery for people who hate themselves even more than I do. And that's a lot. Here at the University of Kentucky, the specialty surgery rotations are mostly okay, it seems. There are some people with no personality, but not malignancies. However, on General Surgery, we have one who has apparently fashioned himself a cross between Sergeant Hartman of Full Metal Jacket, Chet from Weird Science, and Mr. Buzzcut from Beavis and Butt-Head. I don't know about anyone else, but I do not enjoy being addressed as part of "ladies" when I am unambiguously not female. I also do not enjoy being called "dumbass", or when I do give an answer that suits him, being rewarded with "DUH!" This is the kind of thing you can probably expect on general surgery. It is a hateful, spiteful rotation. Just bite the bullet and take it like a man, I guess. You'll probably go through worse things before you die (Lord knows all our patients did), but it sure sucks. I got an A in the class, so I got all I wanted out of it. That, and the certainty that surgery is not at all the place for me.
     
  31. 8744

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