Gems from Surgeons

Kari, Third Year Medical StudentToday was my final day on my surgery rotation (except tests). It snuck up on me a bit actually, but here we are.

Rotating is hard sometimes because you have so little idea what kind of impression you’re really making, but my evaluation was very positive, all summed up I actually had a great time, and so I leave you with a few highlights from my time on surgery:

Gems from the Surgery Attendings

From the young female surgeon working outrageous hours:
“Yes, please give me more Saturday morning clinic. Take advantage of me now while I’m husbandless and childless because pretty soon I’ll be popping out kids with all kinds of abnormalities and spending all my time dropping them off at the short bus.”

While I was suturing incorrectly in the operating room, in conjunction with getting smacked on the hand with the irrigator bulb:
“Stop that! When you see me, I see you. When you don’t see me, I still see you. Remember that.”

From the attending I spend most of my time with, after working a case with a different student:
“Oh hello. You know J? She was with me during this case. It was nice to have a student get some answers right for a change.”


Just the first of many questions in a very long case:
“You’re in the desert, you’ve crashed your car, you’ve broken all your extremities, no one is coming to help. Would you rather have a complete or partial transection of your common femoral artery?”

I got distracted from the teaching point here, thinking, “Jiminy Christmas. Was it necessary to break all my limbs?”

From a surgeon who loves his job – at least the operating part:
“I hate clinic. God save all the internal medicine and primary care docs. I hope nothing bad ever happens to a single one of them.”

From an attending after I successfully did something rather simple. Apply mild sarcasm:
“I’m so proud. Tears are welling in my eyes.”

After completing my end-of-rotation evaluation:
“Be sure you stop by and leave a copy of the evaluation with the secretary. We like to be able to look back in case we see you in the news for malpractice.”

*Gulp* Does that happen often?

Have you had some great wisdom laid down on you yet? You know we want to hear it. Add it to the comments 🙂

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About Kari

Thanks for reading. I'm Kari. I'm in my fourth and final year as a medical student, and I'm going into Pediatrics. I spend most of my time in the hospital or clinic, but as a fourth year I'm also making time for interviews, away rotations, I run, I cook, and I'm planning my wedding. I would never make it without my classmates and I'm impressed with them every day.

2 thoughts on “Gems from Surgeons

  1. During my ward experience as a freshmen, I was assigned to surgery at Riverside County General Hospital. Before the scheduled operation began (a laproscopic cholecystectomy I believe), the attending surgeon suddenly looked up at me and said, “Where’s my music? I can’t operate without my jam!” He motioned to the ipod sitting in a speaker base on a nearby counter. I wasn’t scrubbed in, so I walked over and pointed to it. Dr. Music said, “just hit play” to which I did. The entire remainder of the procedure was spent in the ambiance of the most random clubbing/techno music I have ever heard. Not expecting that from an older Vietnamese surgeon! Awesome! 🙂

  2. That was an awesome post Kari. Something to look forward to in 3rd year. I’m not sure what would be worse? Hours of studying or constantly ridicule? Thanks for sharing…

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