Million dollar question: Which day, during the week of my exams, was i most exhausted?

Answer: The night my exams ended.

I cannot believe i feel more exhausted after my exams than before. Sure looks like i take care of my health much better, to keep myself in optimal condition for my examinations.

I am on to my seven weeks of elective, approximately split between general surgery and trauma surgery, and divided roughly between two different countries. I am choosing to immerse myself in surgery because i want to know whether it is for me since i am seriously considering trauma surgery as a profession, and also to find out whether a glass ceiling still exists for female surgeons back in Potato Land.

On another note entirely, William Fichtner of Prison Break really reminds me of this trauma surgeon that i have met, and who was really the one that inspired me to become a trauma surgeon. They say that the doctors you meet during your rotations are the ones that will really influence which specialties you will choose in the future. I cannot help but agree.

I have done a three week elective in a resource-limited hospital in general surgery before. Whilst it was really hands on and initially exhilarating, i quickly find myself growing bored. I assisted with the laparoscopic cholecystectomies, maneuvering the camera for the surgeon, suctioned the pus and the blood during excision of carbuncles, and sponging and packing with gauze for wounds that require healing by secondary intentions. I even assisted in abortions, although i was relieved when the obstetrician did not request that i directly help by scrapping the fetus from the uterus. I am still unsure of where i stand with regards to abortion at this juncture. (I am pro-choice but i am hesitant about playing a part in proactively terminating a life.)

Thus i am hoping that my general surgical elective would not turn out to be as boring. A friend advised that i should read up on the techniques of surgery instead of the surgical conditions (which is what i am doing now). He too had been through a general surgery elective and aside from being able to identify the organ being excised, he was basically clueless as to what was happening most of the time. I could relate to that. Arteries really do not look red in real life, unless you cut them, and the blood starts squirting out.

So anyway i am taking a few surgical books with me, and am trying to read through as much as possible before i start my elective this Monday. I haven’t got a book about the technical aspects of surgery; it looks like i may have to start hunting for one when i get back. Imagine hitting the library so soon after the end of my exams. Good grief.

I hope i see lots of blood and gore during my trauma elective. *Keeping my fingers crossed*


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