Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Just Had to Say It

It actually irritated me a little that someone would, anonymously – like a troll, suggest that I was second guessing my choice for residency. In part because they completely missed what I was trying to write about, but more from the idea that I was having some kind of reaction formation about choosing anesthesia over surgery.

I made the decision early in 4th year. Up to that point it wasn’t that clear – since I’d only ever had very minute experiences with anesthesia, but had multiple and impressionably profound moments of surgery throughout the previous 3 years. It’s always easier to believe that you’re fit for something when you get more knowledge about a field – plain and simple. Once I had a month of anesthesia under me my choice was not that hard.

But it is true that I also made the choice based on a desire to be with my family. An desire that didn't seem as feasible the more I was able to perceive resident and attending surgeons doing very little with their kids and spending countless hours at the hospital. Yet someone feels that I am trying to create a negative attitude about surgery simply to remind myself why anesthesia was the better choice. I tried to ignore this absurdity for a time, but it’s just gotten under my skin and I feel the need to just say "fuck off"! And that’s enough about that topic.


On a different note – I have realized that I will suck starting July 1st. Two days in the ICU have taught me that I unquestionably know dick. 4 years of med school and I still suck my thumb when confronted with sick-as-hell patients.


Couz said...

First of all, I also chose my 'second choice' (ER) because I wasn't willing to give up my entire life for the sake of my 'first choice' (plastics). Three years later and I have yet to regret it for even a millisecond. If anything, seeing my friends in surgical specialties has made me that much more certain I made the right decision.

Second of all, NO ONE is comfortable in the ICU. If you are, you're at best arrogant, and at worst, dangerous. I'd worry more if you weren't sucking your thumb. I have one month of ICU left to do (have already done two months, once as a PGY-2 and once as a PGY-3) and I'm still dreading it. So many people trying so hard to die...

No worries. No one expects you to know what you're doing the minute you become a resident. Don't be afraid to ask questions, identify the good nurses and learn from them, and invest in a few really good pocket guides. Nothing happens on call that you don't have time to look up. Really.

Bostonian in NY said...

A fourth year friend said it best this past week "I'm pretty afraid for July 1st, I haven't actually seen a patient since October..."

From what he said, those Medical Spanish "classes" in Costa Rica are really rough from what I hear...I mean there's all that surfing and beach and sleeping...it could really wear you out

MSG said...

Because the ICU is a scary place it's one of the reasons I've thought about doing a critical care fellowship - since I love a hardass challenge...sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement Dr. Couz.

Bostonian - I believe that one of the reasons July is scary as hell in academia is because of the lack of true patient contact and care in the last part of 4th year. I hadn't seen a real patient since November. Never saw one on Rads.

tracy said...

Yay, July! Good times in the medical world (not to mention, the patient world...ha!) You'll be fine, Dr. God, have some faith in yourself, just like we all do...but keep the thumb handy, just for security sake. ;-)

be well, tracy

M said...

I can't believe people have the gall to question a medical student's choice for residency.

The internet makes you lose faith in humanity.

Anonymous said...

The guy is definitely just, and there's no doubt.
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