Call night again. My resident (again) cut me loose as a goose. Tonight will probably be much busier because we got a critical mass of snow. What do I mean by critical mass? Just enough snow to make the roads funky, but just little enough to seem cheery and inviting. Much less, and it's basically rain. Much more, and either the roads are plowed or no one is willing to brave the weather. Except the crazy ones, but we'd get the crazy ones anyway.
I was talking to another med student (a guy who knows his stuff and takes care of business) and he expressed the same sort of difficulty with not having a role and not knowing how to fight for the role that we don't know what it is. He says, we're basically paid observers but hey! We're payin' out the nose for this! Granted, it is an intense privilege. But it's still frustrating just to watch. And no one really seems to understand what we want - to be part of the team. No, worse than that - they say "Be part of the team!" And I have little idea how, most of the time. And that wears you down. Forget the long hours standing, the 0400 wake up. It's most tiring to push against something that doesn't even know you're pushing.
I'm really tired. Maybe it's just surgery... but I'm worn out. And not really physically, or mentally - I sleep enough and I feel fine. I'm just tired.
And I feel like everything's suffering because of that. For one, I began this blog with lofty goals and most of what I write about is medical school. I haven't written in weeks, and I almost didn't do anything for Valentine's Day. Luckily, I have a spectacular girlfriend who is immensely understanding.
And that's why I can't do surgery. I can be a surgeon. I am capable of doing it for the rest of my life, 24-7-365. It's interesting, it's important, and it's a challenge. But surgery flat-out eats you up. And I don't want that. We had a lecture from this one attending, who was telling us that he gets real excited any time he gets to open up the neck and play in the carotid sheath. And then he pauses and says, "If you aren't getting those kind of feelings when you think about operating, you shouldn't be a surgeon." I just don't get those kind of feelings. That, I think, is a very important lesson that this rotation has taught me. I'm just not a surgeon.
But in a broader sense, I'm going to try and focus on things other than med school in this space. It's cathartic but not enriching to moan about med school all the time (and frankly it makes me sound pretty spoiled, boo-hoo I get to do surgery all day.) Maybe once in a while if something interesting happens. But it's everything else that I'm going to make more important.