durty

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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
 

SouthernSurgeon

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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
Yup, way too dangerous. All surgeons walk around with their hands taped up in bubble wrap when they are not operating.
 

Buzz Me

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Shouldn't be a problem.

But at least see how your G Surg rotation goes in your MSIII year, before you give up bike riding now! Don't worry about it so early on.
 

MossPoh

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If your bike has saw blades for wheels or you like to tie chunks of bloody fish to your hands while swimming in the ocean, then you may have to alter your habits. Just like if you have a thing for shoplifting in certain countries.
 

Rabbit Hole

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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
Biking will be far more dangerous for your brain if your crash and burn. Lucky for your that won't be a problem if you go into surgery.

:thumbup:yes?
:thumbdown:no?
 

durty

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Ok, so what would happen if you were a resident and you did fall on an outstretched arm and broke your hand? Would you have to hold stuff open with your other hand and just observe until you healed?
-durty
 

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Ok, so what would happen if you were a resident and you did fall on an outstretched arm and broke your hand? Would you have to hold stuff open with your other hand and just observe until you healed?
-durty
At the risk of being trolled (and if the OP doesn't realize it - your posts sound a bit naive if not trollish), you cannot scrub with a cast on your arm. Therefore, you will be put on a nonsurgical rotation like SICU until the cast is off.
 

SocialistMD

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Ok, so what would happen if you were a resident and you did fall on an outstretched arm and broke your hand? Would you have to hold stuff open with your other hand and just observe until you healed?
-durty
Winged Scapula said:
At the risk of being trolled (and if the OP doesn't realize it - your posts sound a bit naive if not trollish), you cannot scrub with a cast on your arm. Therefore, you will be put on a nonsurgical rotation like SICU until the cast is off.
At the risk of sounding rude, it surprises me that an avid cycler such as yourself is so worried about falling. One would think that, one such as you who rides so much, would be good enough on a bike to not fall and, if you do happen to fall, you'd have enough experience/practice with the activity to know how to fall to minimize injury.
 

Buzz Me

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You are WAY overthinking this.

Step 1: Keep biking if that's your hobby.
Step 2: Start your MSIII clinical rotations and see what you like.
Step 3: If you decide to apply to a surgical residency of some time, keep up your (relatively) safe hobby. Obviously biking is very different from boxing, construction, lumberjacking, machinework, or any other profession where your hands are in real danger of being badly injured.
Step 4: Realize that there are many unforseen ways that a surgical resident/fellow/attending can injure their hand, not least of all biking. Bowling. Hiking. Moving apartments. Rock climbing. Cooking.
Step 5: Know that you can always get insurance for your hands (yes, seriously) if you so desire.

Edit: stop doing the following...

I recently cut my hand on glass and it was tough to make stop bleeding and I heard ED's were using glue to close some cuts as a faster alternative to stitches.

My question is:
1) is this true
2) what kind of glue can I buy that is comparably safe for me to put in my first aid kit for next time.
-durty
 

SLUser11

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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
I have to admit that I limit some of my activities to prevent injury. I was very interested in training jiu-jitsu several years ago, but ultimately decided that I couldn't afford to have broken wrists/elbows, etc. A lot of the anesthesia guys here in town do train, and they're always showing up to the hospital with black eyes and casts.....I frequently give them crap about having an anesthesia fight club.

I think you just have to decide how much risk is affordable. A co-worker broke his wrist snowboarding, and couldn't scrub for a while. We are a busy enough residency where we couldn't redirect him to SICU or something, so it definitely made work harder for the other residents. I play basketball every week and soccer sporadically, and I've been lucky not to injure anything, but it's definitely a possibility.

I don't think you can go through your surgical career in bubble-wrap gloves, but you always have to weigh the risks and benefits. Also, when you are actually a resident, you should definitely get some specialty-specific disability insurance.
 

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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
Do whatever hobby makes you happy as there are many surgical residents with much more dangerous hobbies.

Now as far as having enough time to actually do triathalons/biking, that's another question...
 

notinkansas

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I shake my head in disbelief at posts like this. Surgeons are people first. They have all kinds of interests. My experience is that, as a group, they tend to be more athletic and participate more in extreme sports than any other field of medicine. Why would anybody go into a field that requires they give up a beloved hobby?

The bigger issue will be finding the time, especially during residency, and after you've accounted for spending time with spouse/kids. Within those constraints, you can do any sport you want, including climbing Everest.
 

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No matter what you do, you can't totally prevent injuries from happening. I had a wreck on my way home from work one night and broke my distal radius. It does make it difficult to function as a surgery resident, with the cast. I couldn't even put a glove on my hand, so I couldn't really do anything. I still took call, went to clinic, and essentially saw consults all day. Call was painful, however, as I once had to call an attending to put in a line in a sick patient at 2am, because I was the only one around, and couldn't get a glove over my stupid sugar tong splint. Luckily he was a good sport!
 

dienekes88

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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
I met a pediatric cardiac surgeon who rides and does Olympic Distance triathlons. A friend of mine who is an R4 in Ortho sticks to the mountain bike and wears a lot of protective gear.

One thing you shouldn't do is race bikes on the road. I used to be an elite amateur cyclist, and crazy/stupid stuff happens at every level of racing. Most of my crashes happened during races.

At the risk of sounding rude, it surprises me that an avid cycler such as yourself is so worried about falling. One would think that, one such as you who rides so much, would be good enough on a bike to not fall and, if you do happen to fall, you'd have enough experience/practice with the activity to know how to fall to minimize injury.
If you ride a lot, you decrease the probability of a crash in all situations. However, when you accumulate the miles, things happen. I've logged about 65,000 miles in the past 7 years, and by no fault of my own (police reports to prove it) I've been hit by a couple cars.
 

Leforte

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Yes, you can bike in a surgical residency. The majority of my biking was on the trainer, though. I competed in triathlon in residency, including the 70.3 and 140.6 distances. Also did half-mary's and marathons. It can be done, you just have to set priorities and be focused.

It can also be frustrating to be a surgeon and into biking/running/triathlon. I was always wishing I could train more and was not always happy with times, etc in some races. Then again, that's part of the deal of choosing to do a surgical residency, too.

I agree with the being careful of wrecks and injury. I've known several people who have gotten hit by cars, including me when a car turned left in front of me - luckily nothing major was hurt. I've also been hit by a car that rolled a stop sign and hit me in a cross-walk while I was running. Couldn't believe that one. She did say "Oh, sorry..." out her window as I rolled off the front hood. I think these incidents were part of the reason I started training more indoors on the bike and running very early. A major injury could be career ending and even if not that severe, could mean extension of your residency if you are out for a prolonged period. That would suck. Big time.
 
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hello, I am an MI trying to figure out of surgery is right for me. I really like riding my bicycle for exercise and transportation and doing triathalons, but if I went into surgery would biking be too dangerous for my hands? I know that your hands are your priceless tools in surgery so what do y'all think?
-durty
It's not so much that it would be dangerous to your hands, it would be that with the hours, you'd better get used to riding in the dark.
 

notinkansas

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Injuries to hands aren't the career ending ones.

In my current city, two prominent MD's have been severely injured in bicycle accidents. One was a couple years before I started residency. The Chair of Dept of Surgery was found on his bike by the side of the road. Suffered severe frontal lobe injuries that permanently altered personality/judgement and therefore ended his career.

Second happened within the past year, the MD CEO of the medical center flew over handlebars of a bicycle and sustained neck injuries with paralysis. Went though a lot of rehab and just recently returned to work, in wheelchair.
 

dienekes88

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Yes, you can bike in a surgical residency. The majority of my biking was on the trainer, though. I competed in triathlon in residency, including the 70.3 and 140.6 distances. Also did half-mary's and marathons. It can be done, you just have to set priorities and be focused.

It can also be frustrating to be a surgeon and into biking/running/triathlon. I was always wishing I could train more and was not always happy with times, etc in some races. Then again, that's part of the deal of choosing to do a surgical residency, too.

I agree with the being careful of wrecks and injury. I've known several people who have gotten hit by cars, including me when a car turned left in front of me - luckily nothing major was hurt. I've also been hit by a car that rolled a stop sign and hit me in a cross-walk while I was running. Couldn't believe that one. She did say "Oh, sorry..." out her window as I rolled off the front hood. I think these incidents were part of the reason I started training more indoors on the bike and running very early. A major injury could be career ending and even if not that severe, could mean extension of your residency if you are out for a prolonged period. That would suck. Big time.
Whoa! How did you find the time (early AM, late PM?), and which ones did you do? At the 140.6 distance, I did Vineman and IM Wisconsin.

I met an attending who competed as a Cat. 1 road cyclist in the National Racing Calendar events as a medicine resident. He'd fly out to a race after a 30+ hour shift and make the break of a 110 mile road race the next day!

Some people just have it.

I don't think it's in the cards for me, though... :laugh:
 

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Whoa! How did you find the time (early AM, late PM?), and which ones did you do? At the 140.6 distance, I did Vineman and IM Wisconsin.

I met an attending who competed as a Cat. 1 road cyclist in the National Racing Calendar events as a medicine resident. He'd fly out to a race after a 30+ hour shift and make the break of a 110 mile road race the next day!

Some people just have it.

I don't think it's in the cards for me, though... :laugh:
Just one 140.6 - Florida. Had to wait until off primary call to get the training in for that distance. Have CDA and IMoo this year (that is if I don't get a lottery slot this Thursday :) ). Running was early morning and Bike training was at night/weekends. If you are doing it on a trainer, you can get a serious workout in a few hours on the weekend - 3 x 20 minute intervals at FTP, 3 x 20 minute intervals at 90% FTP then 3 x 20 minute intervals at 85% FTP. 5 minutes at 70% between intervals and 10 minutes between sets. Killer workout. You're done in 4 hours and have done far more work than people out there going 6+ hours on the weekend (which ends up being 8+ by the time you count getting to the meeting point, breaks every 30 miles, etc). Get a Computrainer or Powertap - well worth the investment.

We had one medical student who did 4 IM's AND worked full-time on top of medical school. I think he's up to 85-90 marathons at this point. THAT guy is crazy - we train together often and he tears me up.
 

dienekes88

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Just one 140.6 - Florida. Had to wait until off primary call to get the training in for that distance. Have CDA and IMoo this year (that is if I don't get a lottery slot this Thursday :) ). Running was early morning and Bike training was at night/weekends. If you are doing it on a trainer, you can get a serious workout in a few hours on the weekend - 3 x 20 minute intervals at FTP, 3 x 20 minute intervals at 90% FTP then 3 x 20 minute intervals at 85% FTP. 5 minutes at 70% between intervals and 10 minutes between sets. Killer workout. You're done in 4 hours and have done far more work than people out there going 6+ hours on the weekend (which ends up being 8+ by the time you count getting to the meeting point, breaks every 30 miles, etc). Get a Computrainer or Powertap - well worth the investment.

We had one medical student who did 4 IM's AND worked full-time on top of medical school. I think he's up to 85-90 marathons at this point. THAT guy is crazy - we train together often and he tears me up.
Four hours on a trainer is insanity. It might be somewhere close to bearable on the rollers, but my rollers are a bit rusted out. They're so loud that my neighbors started complaining, so I'll have to figure out how to change the bearings (or just switch out the drums).

I have a powertap, but I broke my patella last September (hit by a car). Getting back into it is killing me. I was at about 290W LT at 63kg and riding aggressively in some of the local P/1/2 races last fall. I'm FAR from that right now, and it's depressing to have trouble doing 40' at 230W when I used to do 4.5 hour rides at 225W. Instead I've been rock climbing 1-2x per week (very fun but also a little dangerous: gave my wrist a pretty good whack when I was about to send my first V5). You're inspiring me to get back into it and maybe try for Lake Placid during 4th year.

Good luck in the lottery!
 

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I bike and plan to probably continue so. There are accidents that can never be prevented. I will ride safely however, and never own an motorcycle.

After starting 3rd year, I have also started wearing my helmet even if it's for the short ride to class. You can operate with one jacked up hand but you can't do anything without a brain. :(
 

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...I've been rock climbing 1-2x per week (very fun but also a little dangerous: gave my wrist a pretty good whack when I was about to send my first V5)...
I have no studies or data on this. Don't want to discourage anyone... and quite surprised nobody has really asked about this one.

However, rock climbing may be one activity that can impact manual dexterity in surgery. Not because of muscle hypertrophy. Rather, rock climbers can often develop fairly insensate caloused fingers/fingertips. This may have an impact on fine maneuvers such as suture ties on 6-0 & 7-0 prolene.
 

dienekes88

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I have no studies or data on this. Don't want to discourage anyone... and quite surprised nobody has really asked about this one.

However, rock climbing may be one activity that can impact manual dexterity in surgery. Not because of muscle hypertrophy. Rather, rock climbers can often develop fairly insensate caloused fingers/fingertips. This may have an impact on fine maneuvers such as suture ties on 6-0 & 7-0 prolene.
Interesting. I'll take that into consideration.

Wouldn't that also be an argument against playing a stringed instrument? I imagine the improvements in fine-motor control might make up for the serious callouses on the fingertips of the left hand, though.
 

durty

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Yeah yeah, everybody's a troll and no one has a legitimate question. No one learns by asking...


Thanks to the honest answers and keep on riding to those who gave answers from personal experience.
-durty
 

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I bike and plan to probably continue so. There are accidents that can never be prevented. I will ride safely however, and never own an motorcycle.

After starting 3rd year, I have also started wearing my helmet even if it's for the short ride to class. You can operate with one jacked up hand but you can't do anything without a brain. :(
Good for you :thumbup:

People who ride motorcycles (especially without a helmet) cause me a great deal of anxiety when I see them twisting in and out of traffic on the freeway. I don't know if any of you have ever had to stop to help someone in an accident but it is the most surreal thing to see a mangled body bleeding to death, still alive (barely) but unresponsive and most likely will end up brain dead. It's like something out of a WWII movie. But I digress!
 

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...Wouldn't that also be an argument against playing a stringed instrument? I imagine the improvements in fine-motor control might make up for the serious callouses on the fingertips of the left hand, though.
Yes.... heavy calouses from stringed instrument use might have an impact. However, often the stringed instruments calouses are on the non-dominant hand. Guitar fret board often manipulated with left hand, similar with cello, base, violin, etc... Rock climbing impacts both hands. I am not sure that rock climbing promotoes "fine" motor control per se.

I am not sure the fine motor control of stringed instrument usage overcomes loss of sensation. Again, not an expert and this is purely my opinions.
 

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I frequently give them crap about having an anesthesia fight club.
Hahaha, Rule #1 of anesthesia fight club: nobody talks about anesthesia fight club.
 

45408

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Just one 140.6 - Florida. Had to wait until off primary call to get the training in for that distance. Have CDA and IMoo this year (that is if I don't get a lottery slot this Thursday :) ). Running was early morning and Bike training was at night/weekends. If you are doing it on a trainer, you can get a serious workout in a few hours on the weekend - 3 x 20 minute intervals at FTP, 3 x 20 minute intervals at 90% FTP then 3 x 20 minute intervals at 85% FTP. 5 minutes at 70% between intervals and 10 minutes between sets. Killer workout. You're done in 4 hours and have done far more work than people out there going 6+ hours on the weekend (which ends up being 8+ by the time you count getting to the meeting point, breaks every 30 miles, etc). Get a Computrainer or Powertap - well worth the investment.

We had one medical student who did 4 IM's AND worked full-time on top of medical school. I think he's up to 85-90 marathons at this point. THAT guy is crazy - we train together often and he tears me up.
This just makes me feel more out of shape. I have just NOT been able to motivate myself to go to the gym lately. Just got an offer accepted on a house, and I fully intend to put some free weights in the basement (or just buy the ones that are already there from the current occupants).

I still hate running though. I just want to get back to lifting weights.