Yeah, about that, it was quite the experience.
I went into this rotation about 99% sure I did not want to enter a surgery residency and I left the surgery rotation 100% sure that I will not enter a general surgery residency (maybe a surgical subspecialty?).
My preconceived vision included: long hours, angry/mean residents, shark-like attendings, hawk-like scrub techs, being continuously pimped, and generally hating every moment for eight weeks.
My post rotation recollections include: long hours, generally helpful/fair/demanding residents, absent attendings, mostly nice scrub techs if you get on their good side, hardly any pimping, and not minding most moments for eight weeks.
What I did like about surgery: I did get to see some patients, the residents weren’t terrible despite their seemingly terrible lives, a good operating room is very team oriented and efficient (two things I like), I got to refresh my anatomy knowledge, I enjoyed working with orthopedic residents at the trauma hospital.
The ortho residents were a big surprise to me. They were super cool and let me help them do a lot of stuff and taught me about what they were doing.
Stuff I didn’t like: I didn’t see enough patients, talking to patients too long is frowned upon, any operation over one hour, the trauma hospital.
Not liking the trauma hospital was a big surprise to me. It was the last two weeks of my rotation and I had been looking forward to it for the previous six weeks. I started on five, 12h day shifts, had a day off and then worked five, 12h night shifts. We (myself and another med student) worked in the trauma ED and also got to participate in any shock traumas. I went into all of this thinking that I may be interested in ED because of the fast pace and variety. I left this rotation thinking that IF I ever do ED, it will never be in a big city. I will have another post breaking down all of the reasons for this later, so stick around.
Overall I learned a lot on this rotation about medicine, myself, and my future choice of a specialty.
Next, onto Pediatrics!