Surgery?

Discussion in 'Pre-Medical - MD' started by Mackel, Apr 24, 2000.

  1. Mackel

    Mackel Junior Member

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    This summer I have an oppurtunity to scrub into surgery with a general surgeon. Is this a good oppurtunity to take advantage of? The downside to it is that I would have to take a job as an orderly in the OR. I already have two other summer jobs and I'm taking calculus. thanks
     
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  3. Carbon Klein

    Carbon Klein Senior Member

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    If you get to scrub, see if you will also get to round on patients with them and to join them during clinics. If you're interested in surgery, then total involvement like that will totally get your juices flowing like nothing else. If you only get to see the cases in the OR but don't see patients outside of the OR, it can get old really fast.

    Depending on what you think your ability is in regards to juggling your obligations, it sounds like a cool opportunity.

    good luck
     
  4. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member

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    Dear Mackel,
    As an undergrad I was allowed to shadow a neurosurgery attending in the OR for two weeks, and on two occasions, got to scrub in.
    I was only able to go on rounds once, though, and, to tell the truth, even then, standing in the middle of a huge pack of neuro- and vascular-surgery attendings, fellows and residents I was scared. Not of embarassing myself, but of what I could become should I choose this field. Don't get me wrong, 3/4ths of these doctors were wonderful, caring people. But the remaining quarter more than made up my mind to never ever enter a surgical subspecialty.

    My point is, to echo carbon klein, if you get to go on rounds, and the surgeon you will work with is a caring, pedogogic sort, it will be a great experience and will, indeed, get your juices flowing. If not, again, as cK said, it will get old (and depressing) fast.
    Good luck to you!
     
  5. Mackel

    Mackel Junior Member

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    Dear Buttercup,
    What was it abou the other 1/4 of the surgeons that made you decide that you did not want to enter a surgical subspecialty? I have heard some not so good things about surgeons, but what is your opinion. I do know the surgeon that I would be working with and he is very understanding and interesting to work with. thanks
     
  6. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member

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    Mackel,
    My experience was with a select few. Actually, if you are interested, I highly recommend reading a book called, 'Walking out on the Boys' by Dr. Frances Conley, one of the first women to be a fully-tenured neurosurgeon. The book really details a lot of the issues I had with some of these surgeons, like sexism, general disrespect of patients, etc., and it does it in a much more eloquent, equivocal way than I ever could.
    I recommend it for anyone interested in any field of surgery [​IMG]
    Good luck to you [​IMG]
     
  7. chicago md

    chicago md New Member

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    Mackel,
    You should definitely take advantage of this opportunity. When I was an undergrad I worked part time as an OR orderly, and it turned out to be a great experience. I learned to relate to patients and how to work in a semi-stressful environment. I am now a surgery resident and I look back to when I was an orderly and realize how it really inspired me to keep working toward my goal of being a surgeon. Not to mention how it is just one additional item to pad your application to med school.

     
  8. Carbon Klein

    Carbon Klein Senior Member

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    To Buttercups,

    That's a pretty good book. I am highly interested in neurosurgery and being a Northern Californian, I am interested in both Stanford and UCSF (the book takes place at Stanford SOM). I bought that book and it's pretty good (and fast) reading.

    I have "The House of God", but never read it (it's about Internal Med PGY 1s). But I saw this book from Robin Cook called "The year of the intern" about a PGY 1 surgeon. It looks pretty good too.

    ------------------
     
  9. Mackel

    Mackel Junior Member

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    I just got Walking out of the Boys on tuesday and I finished it on saturday. It was an excellent book. I had know idea that things like that still happened. All I was thinking the whole time will reading this book was what was going on in the minds of these surgeons. I just gave my copy of the book to one of my friends that is also premed. Thanks Buttercup.
     
  10. SuperStan

    SuperStan New Member

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    I think getting as much exposure to your intended profession is wonderful, especially if surgery is your thing. However, GPA is priority #1. If you can balance the two effectively, go for it.

    Another book I would suggets to those reading this forum is "Confessions of a Knife" by Dr. Richard Selzer.

    Let us know what you decide.

    -Stan
     
  11. buttercup

    buttercup Senior Member

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    Wow, Im so happy two people read that book!!
    I hope many more do!
    It really helped me a whole lot, especially during the time I spent shadowing in Stanford's neuro. OR. I met several of the characters, and it did not seem like they had changed a whole lot!

    Carbon- I have the "House of God" too, and the "Year of the Intern". Started House, but got way too depressed about the 10th time he started talking about GOMERs (short for get out of my ER) Are we all destined to years of bitterness during internship and residency?
    I hope not...
    I really enjoyed "Learning to Play God" by Robert Marion, though. For one thing, he includes stories that occured in med school in addition to internship and residency. For another, it was honest, yet heartening. Though Marion did get bitter due to the tiring, overstressed nature of internship, he managed to "snap out of it" in the end.
     
  12. almond

    almond Junior Member

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    I actually have a question about how you came upon such an opportunity to work in the OR and view surgeries. I've asked around at several hospitals in my area (for a volunteer position of course) specifically inquiring about any positions that would give me an experience such as you had, but many of the volunteer coordinators I spoke to told me that it was not possible for liability reasons. Is there someone else I should speak to when I call these hospitals or is there another place I should be looking at?
     
  13. Mango

    Mango Very Senior Member

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    Wow, this post surprised me for a minute. I saw Carbon Klein's name and thought, "Oh my god, Carbon's back?"!

    Then I realized that it's a thread that's a year old. :rolleyes: What happened to CK anyway?
     
  14. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    I guess people are definitely putting the "search" button to good use. :)
     
  15. docuw

    docuw Senior Member

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    Almond... you need to talk to a surgeon who might allow you to shadow with him/her. I worked with an Orthopod for 3 weeks - followed him through everything (call, rounds, OR, clinic). After about the 5th surgery that I observed, he had the scrub nurse show me how to scrub in. I got to help with sutures, retraction, varus/valgus pressure during knee surgeries, hammering Ti rods down the center of a compound Tibia fracture... The best experience of my life. I didnt know the Doc too well before hand, but my Mom is the clinic manager for his wife (also a physician). I just had to sign a confidentiality form, and he wrote me off as a medstudent observer. The hospital didnt care.

    I also did the hospital volunteer program, and although you can do an OR volunteer position, there is no way they can let you scrub in or anything.
     
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  17. almond

    almond Junior Member

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    Sorry for digging up old posts. :p

    Docuw...thanks for the advice. I'll call around and see if I can make use of my little connections. :)
     
  18. Jamier2

    Jamier2 SDN Hillbilly Moderator
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    No need to apologize, this time. It is just funny to see when someone questions a person who may not have been on SDN for a very long time. I use search a lot, and have found lots of info that way. :)
     
  19. Hamster

    Hamster Member

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    Almond: I got to see a WHOLE LOT of surgeries working as an Operating Room Attendant... which is pretty much an Orderly. I am sure you could get a job just like it however it might be hard because you are overqualified. (assuming you have graduated highschool). I had to play down my resume and really beg for the job...even though they had a ton of positions open. However I must warn you it is not a glamorous job! I must clean the OR's after surgeries, go get patients ...a lot of scutwork in otherwords.. not to mention the HORRIBLE pay. but I think the experience was well worth it.
    Thanks for the recomendation about 'Walking out on the Boys'! I will definitely be reading that this week. I read House of God and :eek: I liked it! Buttercup you should try finishing the book..really. Personally I thought all of the sex was uneccesary and made me lose interest, but on the other hand his medical experiences were interesting and reminded me of personalities I encountered in the hospital.
     
  20. TechMan

    TechMan Dreams Stuff are Made of.

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    there's sex in the book. i must go get this book now.
     
  21. almond

    almond Junior Member

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    I just had to laugh at techman's reply. :D :D :D
     

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