Rotation 1: Surgery – the Perfect Combination of Exhilarating yet Terrifying?

Ovruch This is it. The moment I have been waiting for. The moment I have been working toward for 4 years of undergraduate, 2 years of medical school, and 6 weeks of studying for 6 days a week, 12 hours a day. The moment to be in a hospital, on a team, with actual responsibilities.

I was ready, excited, and utterly terrified.

I spent the first two weeks trying to figure out how to get into (and stay in) the OR without getting yelled at, i.e. figuring out how to scrub, gown and glove appropriately, how to move around the OR without contaminating myself or something else, how and where to stand so as to not be in the way but to also be able to see, how to not fog up my mask – the list goes on.

Then came the surgeon’s questions – sometimes about the patient or the procedure being performed, indications for surgery, possible complications, and post-op care; sometimes about completely random topics, both medically related and not. Bottom line, I had to constantly be engaged.

But at the heart of it all was the actual surgery itself. As a person who appreciates detail, is driven by meticulousness, strives for perfection, craves order and control, and thrives under pressure, surgery is a truly beautiful thing. For patients to place complete trust in surgeons and for life or death to be so close to their fingertips, surgery is also exhilarating yet truly terrifying.

Despite the long hours, early mornings, my initial OR anxiety, and the nerve wrecking question-answer sessions, I woke up every morning excited to start the day. While my role was small and my responsibilities quite minimal, I felt privileged to wear those blue scrubs and to be considered a member of their team – if only for 6 weeks.

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