Scutmonkey Chronicles

Commentary on healthcare in general, life as a medical student, and issues of concern thereof. Readers warmly encouraged to contribute their "best" and "worst" experiences with the healthcare system (who knows, some budding young doctor might learn something from your pain...?) Submit via comments section, or email me at if you'd like to become a regular contributor. Welcome, and don't forget to double-glove!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Next on the Rotation Schedule: Cut and Paste

Now leaving the relative ease and safety of psych and radiology and moving on to surgery, the specialty where the crazy people have the knives. Also passing sort of a landmark, having completed six months of rotations with five more to go to finish third year. (Done: two months of family med, peds, ob/gyn, psych, and radiology. Yet to come: general surgery, specialty surgery, internal med, cardiology, and neurology.)

Although I have no desire (that I know of) to become a surgeon, I am more excited to embark on this rotation that I would have expected. This is probably due mostly to a really good week of "surgery prep" class put on by the head of my school's surgery department. If one were to believe the generalizations about surgeon personalities (nasty, brutish, and short-tempered, to steal a phrase from the Brits)this man is unusual in his enthusiasm and warmth in passing on the finer points of the cutting arts to med students. Hopefully there are more out there like him, particularly in the ORs of the hospital where I will be going.

On the other hand, a student in the fourth year class who has been a reliable source of information for me since I began med school said of interactions with surgical attendings, the question is not IF they will scream at you, but how often and how loud. Well, hey, it's only a month. Not that I like being screamed at, but if getting hollered at is the price of learning the stuff and getting through the month, I'm sure I'll live through it.


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