Shadowing: Week 2

Things I learned in my first week as an intern.  Don’t use the elevators or stairs closest to the operating rooms!  It was no big deal when the elevator wouldn’t go, it let me back out.  The stairs though…require a special card to get out of.  Meaning once you get to correct floor you better hope someone else shows up.  And when you are supposed to be “early to be on time” waiting around just won’t work.

Plastic surgery isn’t a service I looked forward to observing.  It has always struck me as a combination of elective and gruesome.  If I got to see reconstructive surgery of an injured child with cleft palate or some other noble procedure that would be great, but no such luck.  I got to watch the end of a “bilateral blepharectomy” (eyelid tucks) and facelift.  It was amazing the amount of spare skin snipped off after the surgeon finished “loosening up” all that tissue.   I wondered if the patient would deem her appearance that big of an improvement…I overheard she’s a college professor.

Urology service had a lecture and their “M&M’s” (morbidity & mortality conference) which wasn’t as exciting as TV.  Learned more about catheters than I hope I ever need to know, but still wonder why the bladder’s smooth muscle gets a title (the “detrusor” muscle instead of just calling it the muscularis layer).

Spent whole neurology shift in the OR watching bones being pinned together from osteomyelitis.  Lots of titanium went in to hold everything from T-10 to the pelvis together.  The surgery was a success, but the patient is elderly, and in renal failure…making me wonder if it was worthwhile.

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