“DeBakey. 3-0 monocryl. LigaSure.” (Try it; it’s all the rage.)
I can’t believe I’m saying (technically writing) this: I have officially finished my surgery rotation. If ever there was a time to reflect… From the very moment I first contemplated medical school, the surgery clerkship was the insurmountable challenge to be conquered. It seemed so contrary to my very nature: these goobers get up insanely(!) early to go stick sharp objects into people and tamper with their innards. If left to my own devices, I usually get up around noon. I tend to be incredibly cautious and will spend hours agonizing over something as innocuous as the wording of an email. Surgeons also kind of have this, uh, reputation. For not necessarily being the nicest people. Or something. Cough. I’ve literally been told that I’m too nice; I’ve been told to stop being nice. You see my concern? Anyway. Not only did I manage to survive despite all of the above, but I actually liked it. (And I was never late! Not once! VICTORY.)
I didn’t quite get the unequivocal epiphany I was hoping for. There were no angel choirs, no confetti showers, etc. Even so, I’m much more convinced that this is a path worth further pursuing. I feel like it’s both something I’m capable of and something I could truly enjoy. My plan is to use my first elective period in March to take a neurosurgery elective to really experience the field and hopefully (fingers crossed) be able to make a decision about whether or not that’s the road I want to take. Something else I’m considering at the moment in case that isn’t quite enough to convince me (and because I’m the worst ever at making decisions) is taking a year of leave to do research and have some time to get a little more clinical exposure and develop more confidence in my choice. I’m kind of a Nervous Nellie about this whole thing because I’ve already played the “get through an entire degree program and then decide you want to do something completely different” game. It was a great game, don’t get me wrong, but not much in the way of replay value.
In other news, I’ve remarked on here previously how I was a little bummed about my performance thus far in terms of grades. I’m oh-so-happy to announce that I’ve since received my grade in psychiatry and feel that my hard work and admittedly greater knowledge base in comparison to my prior rotations was reflected in the assessment I was given. (Subtext: while the system certainly isn’t perfect – how could it be given its inherently subjective nature – it’s not absolute shenanigans. Thank goodness.) I’m hoping with everything in me that this trend will continue for surgery. I definitely had my moments, but I feel like I did a pretty good job overall demonstrating that I was acquiring both knowledge and skills as I went along and working my patooshkies off. The anxiety-ridden waiting period has already commenced.
Neurology starts on Monday and I’ve already muttered at least 5 expletives provoked by the brachial plexus. (In my humble opinion, that means I’m doing it right.) Looking forward to polishing my neuro exam and, let’s be real, not waking up before 5:00 AM!