Oct 24, 2020
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I did okay during surgery shadowing (GS and CTS) and most "yucky" (the word I use - I work with children :) ) things like bodily fluids don't bother me too much.

My hangup for some reason is bones, especially dislocations. My friend's 3-year-old got a nursemaid's elbow and I just needed to look away from the Facebook photos of that thing or else I would puke. This was true of me too - just couldn't look at that thing - when I have dislocated things, but fractures have been okay.

Bones, joints and limbs need to go where they go and not budge!

It's a good sign I'm not a sociopath, but I also think it may be problematic for the day-to-day practice of medicine that also have a visceral reaction to seeing other people in severe pain. It makes me feel faint. During my ED shadowing, there was a middle-aged nice guy who had been a heroin addict when he was young. His RN had the ultrasound machine out and was trying to use that to get a vein but the poor guy's scar tissue was so extensive that the RN would poke him again and again and not be able to get a vein. The poor bear was in severe pain from this ordeal and it made me feel woozy.

What do you think? Is this something that I can gradually desensitize myself to? Is this a sign that a different career may be a better fit for me?
 
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jhmmd

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I did okay during surgery shadowing (GS and CTS) and most "yucky" (the word I use - I work with children :) ) things like bodily fluids don't bother me too much.

My hangup for some reason is bones, especially dislocations. My friend's 3-year-old got a nursemaid's elbow and I just needed to look away from the Facebook photos of that thing or else I would puke. This was true of me too - just couldn't look at that thing - when I have dislocated things, but fractures have been okay.

Bones, joints and limbs need to go where they go and not budge!

It's a good sign I'm not a sociopath, but I also think it may be problematic for the day-to-day practice of medicine that also have a visceral reaction to seeing other people in severe pain. It makes me feel faint. During my ED shadowing, there was a middle-aged nice guy who had been a heroin addict when he was young. His RN had the ultrasound machine out and was trying to use that to get a vein but the poor guy's scar tissue was so extensive that the RN would poke him again and again and not be able to get a vein. The poor bear was in severe pain from this ordeal and it made me feel woozy.

What do you think? Is this something that I can gradually desensitize myself to? Is this a sign that a different career may be a better fit for me?
Wow, that sucks.
To answer your question--it depends on how much these types of things bother you.
Only YOU can make this choice.
 
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Blood and any gore at all used to make me yack. Was a huge hurdle for me, wanting to be a doctor and all. I watched a lot, I mean A LOT, of surgeries and stuff on youtube and now, while I am not resistant to those images, I can hold my ground. It gets better every time I watch more. Start watching ortho surgeries, knee and hip replacements and stuff on youtube, hurl into a bag if needed and persist. You'll make it.
 
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Oct 24, 2020
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True, true. :) Kidding aside, do you think this will be a problem in getting through medical school and then going into a speciality that isn't ortho?

Because of money issues with the ED, I know I've first presented to primary care every time I've broken something. That was what got me thinking this could be an issue for becoming a doctor at all considering all med students must do an FM rotation.
 
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I think that this is a hurdle that you can definitely overcome. I'm starting med school next year, and I also struggle with feeling woozy with the blood and gore sometimes too. I'm not too worried about this in the long term. This is because I have an older brother who is an MS4, and he was honestly WORSE than me before he started medical school. He told me that you get used to it after a while. He did say he had a few classmates that got the woozies real bad, and most of them are applying for psych.
 
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Anatomy lab will de-sensitize you to a lot of bodily stuff. If it doesn’t, then there are plenty of “non-yucky” specialties to apply to.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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Not a big deal. Plenty of specialties where you can mostly (or completely) avoid that stuff. You will be doing a lot of stuff with bones in the anatomy lab, so don’t be surprised if you get desensitized and find yourself not so squeamish.
 
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You will get used to it. The exposure in medical school is gradual enough that you have time to become desensitized. Also, this may sound counterintuitive, but you may feel less "yuck" when it's one of your own patients who needs your help, because you focus on the person and not on the injury.
 
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Matthew9Thirtyfive

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You will get used to it. The exposure in medical school is gradual enough that you have time to become desensitized. Also, this may sound counterintuitive, but you may feel less "yuck" when it's one of your own patients who needs your help, because you focus on the person and not on the injury.

It wasn’t gradual for us. I think the first day in anatomy lab we skinned our donor and by the end of the first week we were pulling off his spine.
 
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longhaul3

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Psych, radiology, rad onc for sure.

Neurology is light on the nasty stuff.

PM&R although they deal with a lot of people who've had debilitating/deforming injuries.

Family medicine to an extent (although you never know what will come into clinic and you have to do some obstetric training as well).
 
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You will get used to it. The exposure in medical school is gradual enough that you have time to become desensitized. Also, this may sound counterintuitive, but you may feel less "yuck" when it's one of your own patients who needs your help, because you focus on the person and not on the injury.
I have found this to be extremely true at least for me! I have got lightheaded from blood/gore when shadowing surgeries before but I also worked as an EMT for a couple years and never had issues with getting queasy when I was actually responsible for providing the care.
 
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I did okay during surgery shadowing (GS and CTS) and most "yucky" (the word I use - I work with children :) ) things like bodily fluids don't bother me too much.

My hangup for some reason is bones, especially dislocations. My friend's 3-year-old got a nursemaid's elbow and I just needed to look away from the Facebook photos of that thing or else I would puke. This was true of me too - just couldn't look at that thing - when I have dislocated things, but fractures have been okay.

Bones, joints and limbs need to go where they go and not budge!

It's a good sign I'm not a sociopath, but I also think it may be problematic for the day-to-day practice of medicine that also have a visceral reaction to seeing other people in severe pain. It makes me feel faint. During my ED shadowing, there was a middle-aged nice guy who had been a heroin addict when he was young. His RN had the ultrasound machine out and was trying to use that to get a vein but the poor guy's scar tissue was so extensive that the RN would poke him again and again and not be able to get a vein. The poor bear was in severe pain from this ordeal and it made me feel woozy.

What do you think? Is this something that I can gradually desensitize myself to? Is this a sign that a different career may be a better fit for me?
I really relate to this!! I'm totally fine with blood and have shadowed surgery, but I start thinking about bones not being where they should and sometimes i just feel outright icky - thought it was just me and glad to know i'm not alone! I think it's something we'll get over with time, or just somehow learn to deal with - I'm an applicant right now and I've just decided the end goal is worth dealing with the aversion! good luck :)
 
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