Surgery. The longest hours. The toughest patients. It’s the most demanding of rotations. When the average day runs > 13 hours long, there barely is enough time to eat and sleep, let alone study for the Shelf exam. We’re at the hospital by 5 am and leave by 6 pm at the earliest. Lunch feels like the National Hot Dog eating contest, where you have little time to stuff your face with as much food as possible.
And yet I personally have gotten the most sleep and most studying done during my time on my surgery rotation. How is that possible? It’s because there is little room for error in time management that every minute counts. Throughout the day, here is how I maximize my time:
- The night prior, make a list of tangible accomplishments I can get done. This includes any articles to reference, patients to pre-round on, sutures to practice, etc.
- Have UWorld and study resources ready to go at all times. In between cases, I would either do questions, or I would read up on anatomy. That way I can ask relevant questions in the OR.
- When I leave for the day, I know I have about 2.5 hours to eat, go to the gym, and study. I, a lot of times, complete each activity. And I don’t let myself diverge. Otherwise, I won’t be prepared or well rested for the next day.
What do you all do to prepare for your surgery rotation?