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Saturday, March 1, 2008

In like a lion

So surgery is coming to a close soon. I have only one day of actual work left. How's that? Literally, I needn't ever step into an OR ever again unless I decide I want to. And I don't think I'm going to miss it. Don't get me wrong - it's a tremendous privilege afforded to few, and yes, one that I've earned - but I just ain't no surgeon.

The interns (who rotate between surgical services every month) switched out this past Friday. What's nice about the interns rotating is that the resident previously on night float is going to be on the peds service. Sweeet. He's already let me do pretty much as I please, and I've gotten to see a couple of surgeries, help out on the wards, see some patients and (heh) blog a little. Tomorrow should be good. I'll see some procedures, I'll help out on the floor, and I'll get my time in. And then I'll be done.

Call on Friday was busy, else I would have probably given the weekly on-call update. Got to see a nice couple of cases. My favorite was the poor guy who came in real messed up after a bar fight. I feel bad for the guy, but he was the classic drunk trauma case. Bloody, beaten up, loudly proclaiming his sobriety, and puking his guts out. He was pretty pitiful, especially when the cops came into the trauma bay to take pictures of his injuries (more than a little smugly, I might add.) I had planned to study and sleep (as I've had the time previously) but we got the right number of cases at appropriate intervals, and I got about two good hours in.

Seeing as it's almost the end, highlights of the surgery rotation:
  • I walk into the neuro ICU on the first day of the rotation eating an energy bar. A resident sees me and says "Are you eating chocolate already? Where did you get that? Did you get that from the resident room? You shouldn't eat that!"

    My clerkship director says "You'd have to be a damn fool to want to be a surgeon, and you look smarter than that." Yes I do.

    Seeing an one of the neurosurgery attendings I&D a staggering head trauma.

    The chief of neurosurgery instructed me to make the initial incision on my first day.

    The classic drunk guy shows up to trauma, loudly proclaiming himself sober as he pukes into a basin that (being the good medical student) I am holding.

    Operating with the head of surgery, who let me sew because I answered a question about Top Gun without hesitation.

    My Auburn grad resident - war damn eagle!

    My little girl on total peripheral nutrition, who got used to me coming in early and would give me a little smile and open her mouth so I could check her mucous membranes (sounds worse than it is.)

    An Amish girl with tuberous sclerosis, who arrived in her Amish garb and a pair of delightfully tacky sunglasses (for her photophobia.)

    In ENT Peds clinic, we have what are essentially dentist's chairs for the patients to sit in, so they can be examined more closely. When he pushed the button to raise the chair, one of my residents would tell the kids that if they didn't tell him to stop, they'd go right through the ceiling. One kid looked absolutely terrified.

    The NP told me a story about how they'll take sick residents in the back of clinic and hook them up to IV's so they can keep working. She said she gave one resident three liters before she sent him home, and one of the attendings still thought he should tough it out.

    I'm whistling on the wards. My cool resident (a big gamer) looks up and says "Sounds like the chocobo song..."

    Diagnosing and forming a correct plan for an umbilical hernia in an asymptomatic one year old. I'm (almost like) a doctor now!

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