Wayfaring MD

I am a family medicine resident who likes to highlight the hilarious in medicine as I write about patients, medical school, residency, medical missions, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

HIPAA is for reals, folks. All of my "patient stories" have been changed to protect patient privacy. I will change any or all identifiers, including age, location, race/ethnicity, sex, medical history, and quotes. Also, I am an anonymous internet person. Why should you trust an anonymous internet person to give you medical advice? Don't ask me, ask your doctor!
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Well, I’m now post 30-hour call. It is 8:05 pm and I’ve been up since 4:45 on Tuesday morning, with the exception of a 3 hour light nap last night from 2-5. In the last “day,” I saw 2 circumcisions, one regular delivery, and one C-section, which I got to 2nd assist (AKA snip the ends off of sutures after they’re tied) on. That sounds like a lot, but the combined time of all of those is maybe 2 hours. The C-section was an hour and 15 minutes, to give you an idea of how quick the other stuff goes. We did a bunch of sitting around all day, which really makes the day go by a whole lot slower. If I’m gonna be awake that long, I’d rather be up and running around and doing stuff. 

I’m not going to give gory details, but let me just say that circumcision looks pretty barbaric. I mean, it’s pretty much the oldest surgery ever, and I don’t think the technique has changed much over the centuries. 

Also, a C-section on a 400+ pound woman is a very scary thing, especially on one who is claustrophobic and refuses to wear an O2 mask even though she can’t breathe when she’s laying down. But the residents and attending did a really good job and even to my mostly untrained eye it looked really clean.

I discovered that I kind of like surgery. I thought I might, because I like anything that’s hands-on, but I was also scared because on 2 occasions recently I’ve gotten really queasy from seeing small procedures. But I haven’t had a problem on any of the big things I’ve seen yet. I’ve come to the conclusion that I get nauseous when I see people in pain. If I know, consciously or unconsciously, that they can’t feel what’s going on, I’m totally cool. Hopefully I’ll stay that way. 

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