PersonalKristina B.

Surgeons, Sutures, and Shiny Things

PersonalKristina B.

John Hardy Kali Bracelet

Alright, enough with the sparklies for now. Thought I would post with a little update on things..."life".  At least, what I could have, if I wasn't a medical student.  I just got home from a Women in Surgery career development seminar hosted by the Association of Women Surgeons.  I was fortunate enough to be invited, because the conference consisted solely of legendary female professors in surgery, as well as young surgery residents.

I had a late start to my day (seems to be a pattern this week), so I arrived flushed, sweating profusely (for me, beads of sweat on my forehead is a bad omen) and there is nowhere to sit, so I stand in the far back, faced by a panel of the most illustrious women surgeons in the south (and the country, for that matter). Lunch was promptly served (the event was at Trevisio, a fine restaurant at the top of an MD Anderson building) and I was also promptly aware that Casual Friday does not apply to all-women functions, as I looked around at the silk blouses and tailored pants. Then I looked down at my Target short-sleeved argyle sweater which I put on with pride two hours earlier, and my dark 7 For All Mankind jeans.

Oh well, I shrugged, at least they won't mistake you for a doctor.

It truly has been an eventful week. Monday started it off with a bang with my preceptor for Physical Diagnosis -- I scrubbed in on my very first surgery, which was attended by no less than three very, very famous trauma surgeons here in the medical center.

Granted, a majority of the time I was craning my neck or standing on a stool to get a view of the surgery in progress, but when things had calmed down (3 hours into the surgery), my preceptor looked over at me (it's all about eye expression in surgery, because literally every other expressive feature we humans possess is covered in gowns, masks, scrub hats, etc) and asked if I wanted to scrub in.

It was all I could do to keep myself from flinging my pocket clipboard and pilot gel pen up at the ceiling (not sterile) and hug him (sterile). For the very first time, I scrubbed in for real, had a real scrub nurse assist me with my gown and gloves, and got to stand next to the attending surgeon (my preceptor) while he worked inside the patient's abdomen. "Look at this," he gestured, "you're never gonna see this again in your career." The patient had an (unfortunate) laceration 6 cm long to the duodenum from a simple compression injury.

Fortunately, the patient was stabilized, and I went home at 6 o'clock that night, high as a kite from my exhilarating experience.

What did you do this week?

Image: John Hardy Kali Bracelet in Sterling Silver, $395