Jan 19, 2011

Ow ow ow ow...

So I just did my first time ever ten mile run in a triple loop around Prospect Park, an adventure that seemed like a grand idea until the moment I stopped and went "Wow! That was great; I don't even feel particularly OH MY GOD AAAAHHHHHHHHH", as every muscle in my body took that moment to celebrate the lactic acid build up they'd been accruing for the better part of two hours.

In other news, my attending seems peculiarly proud of me for going into my chosen field, which is a warm breath of fresh air. "You have no interest in my profession? Good for you!!!" He's also a Radiohead devotee, which makes surgery *so* much nicer. And everyone he's done brain/neck/back surgery on so far has been able to move all appendages halfway through anesthesia wake-up and no one's died, so I'm thinking that's a plus. It's less messy than all the abdominal stuff, but gets that bone/bovie/dentist office smell pretty far back in my sinuses, which kind of makes me nostalgic for my bone assembling days.

I also managed to at last secure a thyroid shield during surgery today. This is something that's irked me for a while. There are several types of surgery that require repeated x-rays during the procedure to make sure you don't wedge a tube through someone's kidney or stick a screw into their spinal cord. It also means you can see what you're doing in such spaces without needing to create a huge, infection prone, aesthetically unpleasant hole to do so.

Despite shooting anywhere from two to three dozen images, for the patient, this still doesn't amount to a huge dose of radiation. When you're scrubbed in and are leaning into thirty x-rays day after day, this starts to become a little much. As such, everyone in the room wears heavy-ass lead aprons. And they're good about enforcing that. I actually had to de-scrub and re-scrub one time because I forgot to put mine on after I'd gowned up. The circulating nurse was friendlier than most and made do with only one exclamation about where my brain was.

Problem being, at every hospital, there seems to be a dearth of thyroid shields for the med students, and when I went into urology to try to find one (because I knew they were there because I've seen their stash), was actively told they didn't have *any* back there while the nurse locked the door where four were visible (so I couldn't jack one, which honestly, I would have, though I would have put it back). The I one I found elsewhere, apparently *also* belonged to urology, but I was scrubbed in with it on by the the time someone told me, so ha ha, finders keepers.

The idea of aprons is great, but I have no plan to use my ovaries in the near future. Know what I am using? My thyroid!

This is also contributing to my continued blackheartedness against urology. When I did my mandatory rotation in it during surgery, I got assigned to a complete bastard of an attending that not only went to the Dr. Cox school of teaching but compounded it with sexist crap "Oh, going into pediatrics? Ob Gyn? You want to do Pathology? Oh, so you have time to have a family?" Seriously, guy? Just because you're around dicks all day doesn't mean you have to be one. It's not like being a werewolf.

Annnnnyway, my current attending is a lot nicer. Only two interviews left to go, weather permitting, and I'm officially registered for the 2011 match. Gotta start arranging my match list, which is kind of a tall order. Almost all the places where I've interviewed have had really great people there and they pull in different things. One place will have a ton of compensated offsite electives so you can audition for fellowships; one place has computer software that allows you to view some of your cases from home; one place sends home microscopes with residents; one place has ins with the coroner's so they're never wanting for autopsy numbers; one place has a tight association with a major cancer center, so you get crazy cases, etc etc. Most have warm fuzzy program directors and a pleasant group of residents.

Decisions decisions... a lot of it may just come down to where I want to live, which is also something I'm not sure about since I'm really evenly ripped between wanting to be in a lot of nature and being so spoiled by living in NYC that I wonder if I can get by anywhere smaller than... I dunno, Boston.

And a lot of it will be determined by the way the match operates. Path is a fairly small field, so instead of having 15-20 openings in a moderate sized program, like you'd see with IM or peds, you may have 2-4. Even if they like you, that doesn't leave a lot of room.


Veronica said...

Well, you can pretty much cross off the place that has computer software that allows you to view some of your cases from home and the place that sends home microscopes with residents. If they're willing to set you up with a way to do work from home, then they're probably going to expect you to work from home. In addition to your hospital and call hours. I say keep work and home as separate as humanly possible. Good luck. I've enjoyed following your blog for the past year or so.

Lori F. said...

Yeah, but are there 2-4 people pursuing path? I think you can write your own ticket!


Ishie said...

Lori, I hope so! It seems to have gained popularity.

Veronica; thanks for reading!!! I don't think the program was sending too much work home, but more there was some stuff you then wouldn't have to be called into the hospital for, since most hospitals have path call from home, and there's only a few things you actually need to leave the safety of your bed to do.

And yes, surgery applicants/residents, hate me ;)