Jun 22, 2015
521
711
I am on my surgery rotation, and I have found that I love the OR and the "meat" of the procedures that involves some thinking and trouble shooting. However, if something involves suturing or ligating I become very overwhelmed. Being asked to close or stitch on the skin makes me so scared, but I would be completely fine if someone asked me to cut, scissor, or Bovie something important. I get scared because Im just plain terrible at it, and Im not progressing (a few weeks in now). Maybe its because I am left handed and try to mimic righties when taught, but I am definitely way slower at picking up the motions and steps than my peers.

I've heard you will get better with practice, but Im still not like other surgery interested people who find it interesting and jump at the chance to do it. I've noticed closing is viewed as a chore by senior residents and attendings so maybe I just understand how tedious it is despite its importance.

My question is... did any of you fine SDN surgeons just not understand suturing (knots don't bother me for some reason) or hated/currently hate it? I've also wondered whether I should just avoid surgery with tons of suturing (e.g. GS). Ortho doesn't seem like they'd do much except for closures. At least I'd avoid gnarly bowel anastomoses and stuff.
 

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
39,607
28,105
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Attending Physician
GS really doesn't have "tons of suturing" any more what with anastomotic staplers; however, you'll still be taught the "old way" in case of a device failure or some preference of your attendings for hand sewn vs stapled.

At any rate, once you're out in practice you can have a PA or resident close for you if you prefer. Some find it a chore; I happen to like closing - I miss it when I have students and residents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mad Jack
OP
NWwildcat2013
Jun 22, 2015
521
711
GS really doesn't have "tons of suturing" any more what with anastomotic staplers; however, you'll still be taught the "old way" in case of a device failure or some preference of your attendings for hand sewn vs stapled.

At any rate, once you're out in practice you can have a PA or resident close for you if you prefer. Some find it a chore; I happen to like closing - I miss it when I have students and residents.
Interesting. So Ive only worked with one attending and he/she must be old school because most everything is hand sewn. That make me feel a bit better that isnt always the case.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Winged Scapula

Winged Scapula

Cougariffic!
Staff member
Administrator
Lifetime Donor
15+ Year Member
Apr 9, 2000
39,607
28,105
forums.studentdoctor.net
Status
Attending Physician
I'm just not sure that a 3rd year student should be concerned about whether they are good at suturing; its a skill to be learned. As to whether you enjoy it, most of us don't enjoy things we're not good at. When you gain experience and skill, I'd venture you'll enjoy it more.
Interesting. So Ive only worked with one attending and he/she must be old school because most everything is hand sewn. That make me feel a bit better that isnt always the case.
 

ProfMD

I'd rather be operating.
Lifetime Donor
2+ Year Member
May 18, 2016
1,457
2,305
Status
Attending Physician
When I saw the title to this thread, I assumed that you loved surgery but thought suturing was just too tedious and boring.

Now I understand that you just are not comfortable with it. This is totally normal. You will get better with practice. See if the residents will let you help close sometime. Also, ask the scrub tech for left over suture at the end of the case that you can practice with at home. When I was an M3, we used pigs' feet from the grocery store in our one day suturing lab. At home, I practiced on towels. Really, though, you just need to get in there and do it. The skills will come with time.

If you really love everything else about surgery, go for it. Don't let this stop you.
 

HighPriest

Specialized in diseases of the head holes
10+ Year Member
Jan 1, 2008
2,082
2,464
Status
Attending Physician
You'll get better at it. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. I don't like 100% of everything that I do, but the stuff I like I like enough that the other stuff doesn't bother me. Is having to suture going to ruin surgery for you? If so, don't do surgery. If it's just something you're not fond of doing, no big deal. If just means plastics is out.
 

194342

10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 18, 2008
7,990
1,323
Status
Resident [Any Field]
I'm just not sure that a 3rd year student should be concerned about whether they are good at suturing; its a skill to be learned. As to whether you enjoy it, most of us don't enjoy things we're not good at. When you gain experience and skill, I'd venture you'll enjoy it more.
I totally agree, even as an early intern I didn't feel super comfortable suturing, specifically tying. You'll work on it again and again eventually becoming good at it, OP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Winged Scapula

VisionaryTics

Señor Member
10+ Year Member
Jan 14, 2009
1,925
2,317
Status
Fellow [Any Field]
One caveat to the OP: every new skill is a new mountain to climb. And if you find that process of struggling and overcoming distasteful, then you may hate surgery.

Yeah, you'll probably be sick of closures a few months into intern year. But there's a million other skills to learn, and overcoming learning curves is a recurrent process in surgical residency (any residency, really).