Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Surgical Consult

Without a doubt I want to be a surgeon. There is nothing else in medicine that inspires me like surgery. I realise that medicine and surgery might be considered separate entities but you get the idea. Medical specialties just don't press my buttons, I much prefer the blood and guts (particularly relevant to lower GI which I'm doing at the moment) world of surgery. Surgery has the tools and gadgets which I enjoy playing with so much, it requires focused attention to detail with which I'm slightly obsessed.

I spent the morning (and most of the afternoon) elbow deep in bowels, I realise this might not be everybody's cup of tea but I was fascinated. Even when not scrubbed up I can quite happily just sit (standing and watching gets ever so slightly tedious) and watch. I learnt today that my back muscles are going to need some work if I'm to fulfil my ambition. The other thing that I'll have to work on is my anatomy, I've said this before and I really resent not being taught any useful anatomy. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, we've not really been taught anything, I had to go elsewhere (and pay) to learn how to suture, God knows what else we've missed out on. If I go on and pass finals, I'm determined not to waste my last ever summer and in between much computer game playage, I will learn some anatomy.

I don't know which surgical specialty appeals most at this stage, although I've always had a soft spot for orthopaedics. To be honest, I'm not really bothered, as long as I get to cut people up (when they're still alive I should add) I'd be happy.

Who knows whether I've got what it takes but with little else that inspires me I'm determined to try my bestest.


Anonymous said...

Your passion for cutting people up while they're still alive makes me shudder! Ever thought of a career in military torture?

Anonymous said...

PBL... No suturing. That is criminal! No Anatomy. Criminal.

Anonymous said...

I think most medical schools these days have cut down on anatomy teaching, with the only option left for the students being to intercalate in anatomy and choose anatomy-related SSMs.

Surgery sounds amazing, but as a first year with very little experience or understanding of surgery I feel like a bit of a nob telling people I may want to go into it.

Oh and regarding the interesting research, it's nice to see my school's only half a percent or so behind yours!

Anna said...

Open abdomens make me faint. In the literal, collapse on the floor in a dead heap needing fresh air, several glasses of water and a long session of sitting with head between knees kind of way.

Surgery is not a career option for me.

(I'm also ridiculously proud that I passed my surgery finals without ever scrubbing in)

Dragonfly said...

Surgery is cool....there is something about general and trauma surgery that makes my heart pound...

PhD scientist said...

Most medical schools have retained dissecting room (DR) anatomy, tho' one school in the UK (Peninsula) has no DR and does the whole lot w "living" (mostly surface) anatomy, anatomical models, and computers.

The amount of DR teaching in med schools has not changed that much in the two decades I've been around the trade, though there has been a move from "students dissect" to "prosection" (anatomy demonstrator does dissection and explains).

What has changed is the amount of formal lecture-based teaching of anatomy, which has decreased drastically. This is partly due to PBL and "integrated" (subjects merged together in lectures) curricula, and partly due to the decline in numbers of academic staff (clinical and non-clinical) who can actually teach anatomy well.

Incidentally, UK medical students get junior doctors (often would-be surgeons and radiologists) as anatomy demonstrators. Yr 1 and 2 students in German medical schools commonly get yr 3 and 4 students as their DR tutors.

Opinion as to the usefulness of "classical" old-style anatomy lectures varies. Remember, these were and are usually given - at least in yrs 1 and 2 - by some poor schlub like me who got told "Bloggs, you're doing six lectures on the anatomy of the viscera, it's basically Chapters x to y in A.N.Other book".

I have certainly heard more than one consultant surgeon offer the view that "the anatomy I was taught at medical school was mostly useless - the stuff I use was all taught to me by surgeons." Since I am not an anatomist I have no particular personal view, but I can assure you that is a real verbatim quote.

Sue said...

Ooh, do colorectal surgery, it's fun. You get to sew peoples arses shut!! I can honestly say I've got a butt like Barbies!

Flossy said...

I spent yesterday morning in a GI department with my Mum, trying to work out why on earth people would want to spend their lives dealing with guts!!! I'm very grateful to the doctor who told her it's nothing serious, but still - what on earth makes you choose 'guts' as an exciting career option??

Calavera said...

Wow, that's admireable - Hospital Phoenix would be chuffed.

I don't know. From experience, many of the surgeons are people who I don't really want to be like.

It's repetitive, it's too routine, and most of your patients are fast asleep anyway!

I much prefer medicine, but then again that's just me.