Sadly, surgery has come to a close. Out of all the rotations that I’ve completed so far, surgery has been my favorite by far. Looking back, surgery made me realize that I prefer procedures over clinic. As strange as it may sound, I found the OR to be quite peaceful. It’s just you, your team, and your patient. If you’re using the Da Vinci, you just immerse yourself in the console and go to work. Another aspect of surgery that I love is that you figure out exactly what is wrong…and then you go in and directly fix it. For me, that is pretty satisfying–you order relevant tests prior to surgery, confirm the diagnosis, and then operate.
I also enjoyed the emphasis on relevant details. For instance, our differentials were basically 2-3 items long. We weren’t generating lists of differentials for the sake of completeness. There were a few things that the complaint could be and we’d order relevant tests to rule them in or out and then fix the issue. Checking up on patients post-op was a breeze; all that mattered was how the patient was doing from a surgical perspective. Essentially, we wanted to know if a patient had fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, shortness of breath, trouble voiding, no bowel movement and no flatus–these are all signs of common complications post-op. None of the patient’s other medical history was being managed by us and I enjoyed that. It lets you focus on one thing.
Surgery was intense, but I worked with great teams. I felt like I was a part of the team, and people cared about my learning. It’s over–so onto Radiology!