beep

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I am super excited to go to school!

But... I am also worried that I will be too tenderhearted or easily grossed out, and won't do procedures well as a result. Can anyone reassure me?
 

NotShorty

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I wasn't exactly worried about my reaction. Just curious. I had no idea if I would be creeped out or what. Turns out I had like no reaction what so ever.

You'll probably surprise yourself.

NS
 

Blue Scrub

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I feel you Beep...I dont think I'll be so grossed out by blood or cutting cadavers or people open, but there are some intangible things that I think about. I wonder how I will be as a physician...will I be a good listener? What am I to do if an attending tells me to do something, then leaves, and I forgot what they wanted me to do, or how to do it? Is that just a made up nightmare story to scare residents, or does that actually happen? There is so much to know and remember, will I just not remember random things when trying to diagnose patients? Those are just some things that worry me. I know Im a few years away from residency or even practicing medicine, but I cant help but wonder how I will change from now till then. Any advice from residents or practicing docs out there?? How did you feel when you just started to actually practicing?
 

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RunMimi said:
I thought I might be too. But I conduct animal research now and I'm really fine with it. I knew I was okay when I messing with the aorta and I was really hungry--no affect on my appetite whatsoever. I just got used to it. I think you will too--no worries.
Same here. I thought I would be squeamish during the anatomy lab section of my summer program. My group was a bit standoffish at the beginning, but by the end of the first 3 hours, elbow deep in the cadaver, we were making plans for lunch. Anatomy lab always made me sooooo hungary :confused: :confused: You should be fine...don't stress about it.
 

erin682

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I was worried about being squemish doing procedures b/c sometimes watching them really bothered me. I found though that doing is much better than watching. I don't get bothered at all as long as I have something specific to focus on.
 

rpkall

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I'm kind of in the same boat. I'm not entirely comfortable watching procedures done or seeing people suffer (especially if there's quite a bit of blood/death). We'll see, I guess. I'm hoping that if I keep subjecting myself to gorish experiences, I'll eventually calm down and get used to them. How many times can you REALLY pass out in surgery before it gets old? Even to your own psyche.

I plan on being totally honest about it, and I'm going to try to shadow A LOT during the first two years. ;) I'm pretty sure I'll eventually desensitize myself and all will be ok.
 

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You know, when I started medical school I thought that cadavers, blood, and guts were going to gross me out. It turns out that these things don't bother me at all.

On the other hand, nasty, gnarly, scaley, disgusting feet with thick fungus-infested toenails make me gag. I'd rather manually disimpact somebody than examine their feet. (If I were king of the world I'd make everybody who came to the hospital take a bath, wipe their ass, wash their feet, and trim their toenails.)

My first rotation of third year was vascular surgery where most of the patients had nasty, smelly, gangrenous feet.

My point is that many of the things you are afraid of will amount to nothing at all while some of the things that bother you will come out of nowhere.
 

8744

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rpkall said:
I'm kind of in the same boat. I'm not entirely comfortable watching procedures done or seeing people suffer (especially if there's quite a bit of blood/death). We'll see, I guess. I'm hoping that if I keep subjecting myself to gorish experiences, I'll eventually calm down and get used to them. How many times can you REALLY pass out in surgery before it gets old? Even to your own psyche.

I plan on being totally honest about it, and I'm going to try to shadow A LOT during the first two years. ;) I'm pretty sure I'll eventually desensitize myself and all will be ok.
After five minutes in gross lab, the wierdness will wear off. After a half hour you won't even be bothered by anything. After an hour you will start thinking about lunch and saying to yourself, "Tacos would be great."

Same with surgery. After the initial horror wears off five minutes into your first surgery you will probably just be bored, tired, and hungry especially as third year students are mostly used as human retractors.
 

Firebird

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Spend a rotation in the ER and I bet you will be able to do anything without getting grossed out. I'm still a first year, but I have done observation time in the ER.

Better yet. Just go stand in the ER waiting area.
 

Psycho Doctor

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beep said:
I am super excited to go to school!

But... I am also worried that I will be too tenderhearted or easily grossed out, and won't do procedures well as a result. Can anyone reassure me?
Have you been embarrassed by passing out in the OR or ER yet? Well if not, you have not been fully initiated yet.
 

durak

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i didn't think the blood and guts stuff would bother me, so i felt pretty stupid when i almost passed out the first time i saw a chest tube being put in on a conscious patient. it didn't help that it was a student doing it for the first time, so she had to jab him quite a few times to get the forceps through the pleura. my hands and feet started tingling...vision started to get blurry and narrow...and before i knew if i was slouched in a chair in the hallway with a nurse asking me if i was ok.

i've seen plenty of surgeries and nasty trauma that never got to me, but for some reason this one really made me queasy. i agree with what was said earlier - it's easier to do than it is to watch.
 

Psycho Doctor

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durak said:
i didn't think the blood and guts stuff would bother me, so i felt pretty stupid when i almost passed out the first time i saw a chest tube being put in on a conscious patient. it didn't help that it was a student doing it for the first time, so she had to jab him quite a few times to get the forceps through the pleura. my hands and feet started tingling...vision started to get blurry and narrow...and before i knew if i was slouched in a chair in the hallway with a nurse asking me if i was ok.

i've seen plenty of surgeries and nasty trauma that never got to me, but for some reason this one really made me queasy. i agree with what was said earlier - it's easier to do than it is to watch.
hey you never know which procedure is going to affect you. I actually passed out in the OR, and as I fell to the floor I knocked over their sterile tray. It was a humiliating experience but humbling and let me realize I was human and sometimes it takes something like that to realize yo're not invincible and that sometimes it is the empathetic compassionate doctor who reacts to human pain.
 

SurgeryRA

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You'll be fine. It's a little weird on the first day in anatomy lab where you are cutting into preserved body trying to find muscles and nerves of the back. You get used to it REALLY soon. You won't believe how desensitized you get. You start getting hungry while dissecting and a lot of us stopped using gloves when we weren't going to be in lab that long. During anatomy that was fine, but now that i'm done with it...I question myself for not using gloves. Anyways the bottome line is you WILL adjust. Good luck.
 

samboo

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Thank goodness I'm not the only one! Good thread! Anatomy Lab...bring it! I am way pumped about that, but surgery...Ahhhh! I have def passed out observing and will prob do so again. I hope it is better when I am doing and not observing.
 

Firebird

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samboo said:
Anatomy Lab...bring it!
You say that now. Give yourself eight weeks of digging around, looking for seemingly unimportant structures, memorizing all the names of every body part, only to be asked "what is the embryological origin of this?" on a practical, and then going home to eat a sandwich at which point you realize your hands smell like formalin and phenol and you lose your appetite. After that, you'll be singing about the day that the lab is over.

Oh yeah...the smell...it gets so old.


Anyway, my favorite lab moment for our group:

Dr. Z: Hey did you guys do the dissection of the nasal cartilages?

*silence*

Dr. Z: Well?

Me: Um, no we cut it off.

Dr. Z then walks off shaking his head.
 

Psycho Doctor

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Firebird said:
You say that now. Give yourself eight weeks of digging around, looking for seemingly unimportant structures, memorizing all the names of every body part, only to be asked "what is the embryological origin of this?" on a practical, and then going home to eat a sandwich at which point you realize your hands smell like formalin and phenol and you lose your appetite. After that, you'll be singing about the day that the lab is over.

Oh yeah...the smell...it gets so old.


Anyway, my favorite lab moment for our group:

Dr. Z: Hey did you guys do the dissection of the nasal cartilages?

*silence*

Dr. Z: Well?

Me: Um, no we cut it off.

Dr. Z then walks off shaking his head.
awesome, i can't wait to have an equally memorable lab moment :D
 

Firebird

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Psycho Doctor said:
awesome, i can't wait to have an equally memorable lab moment :D
I should add another story. But this only occurred with me and one other person in my group.

I got to the lab early and was opening up the vault. For those of you who have never been to an anatomy lab, the vault is a metal case the body is kept in. I was crouched down, trying to get my side of the vault to latch underneath the table...but I wasn't having much luck and I was just basically rocking the table/vault back and forth.

One of our group members starts walking towards our table just as I'm doing this. Because of the angle she was walking at, she could not see me, nor could she see that the one side of the vault was open...I finally get it latched and stand up only to see her staring, wide eyed at the table, mouth completely dropped open...perhaps a little pale.

To her, it looked like our cadaver had suddenly come back to life and was trying to get out of the vault.
 

DarkFark

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I know from my experience that dead people don't bother me one bit. One of my responsibilities at the trauma center I volunteer at is to help clean up the recently deceased for viewing by the family. That usually entails scrubbing blood off of them, which I thought would be disgusting, but isn't with the right mindset.

What drives me nuts is when people (i.e. tech, nurses, doctors) have to do things to patients that put them in extreme pain. I think I will definitely have a little trouble getting used to that sort of thing. Thanksfully I don't have to deal with it as a volunteer.
 

JuicyDay

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go to the allopathic forum, and click on the thread "Worst smells in medicine" or something like that.

if you do, you will realize that the SMELLS get to people, not necessarily the actions. and apparently, the smellls get to a LOT of med students. so if you are squeemish about something, you probably will not be the only one :thumbup:
 

Stroganoff

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Psycho Doctor said:
Have you been embarrassed by passing out in the OR or ER yet? Well if not, you have not been fully initiated yet.
Well, if i do pass out, it'll be today. First day of gen surgery shadowing. :)

4 hours of sleep last night, but I heard breakfast is essential.

Edit: Pretty awesome stuff. No problems at all. Got to do some, um, fingers-on stuff. Cool experience as an undergrad.
 

LabMonster

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On my first bone marrow aspirate I saw, I started hyperventilating, got light headed and said "Okay, I'm going to lunch now that ok great see ya there." I wasn't sure if I was going to pass out or puke.

It wasn't the blood or needles, it was the woman screaming in pain that got me.

I've since grown accustomed to reactions in pain, and blood is just blood - but it's usually supposed to be on the inside. No matter what your tolerance is, it will build up.
 

prana_md

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I got to go to a cadaver lab a few weeks ago and I was really freaked out that I wouldn't be able to handle it. I can't watch gore on TV at all. But it was completely fine. They were so *dead* it really made me wonder about the existence of a soul. There was something just *not there* about them. About half an hour in I started obsessing about Indian food .... c-r-a-v-i-n-g it. Someone told me later (over dinner) that there's something about formaldehyde that makes you absolutely ravenous. I'm still worried I'll lose my s**t over burn victims ... I think everyone's got their "thing."
 

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Yeah, I have been very bothered about procedures that cause pain, I almost feel like I can feel the patient's physical pain and I've always wondered about handling that. But since it seems there's quite a number of ppl with such issues, I guess I'll be alright. I'm going to start shadowing a pediatrician today (now we're going to be making kids scream!)
 

drwlo

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I have a problem with smells. I also have just about the world's strongest gag reflex. I'm worried that I'll actually vomit on a patient.