Tuesday, April 08, 2008

One Week Of...

What a whirlwind my last week has been!

I think I know my way around three of Spokane's operating rooms; more importantly, I know where each OR's supply of non-powdered, size 9 sterile gloves is. One important (faculty-endorsed) location is my car's glove compartment - one of the hospitals doesn't have non-powdereds that large!

Boy am I glad I am outside of Seattle for my surgery clerkship! I'm not sure I'd be getting this much exposure to hands-on learning anywhere else... This week, I have:
  • laparoscopically extracted a gall stone from the common bile duct during a gall bladder removal
  • removed one appendix
  • held countless retractors (more on that in a later post)
  • clipped thyroid arteries in a parathyroidectomy
  • learned 3 new knots and 5 new stitches
  • sewn a colon into the skin
  • coined a new term for a certain kind bowel adhesions and was subsequently pimped about said term ("fatty fibrosis" - another story for later)
  • sewn large and small bowel together (using a really fancy stapler)
  • imagined numerous uses for retractors and then seen them used that way...
  • removed pounds of necrotic skin, fat and muscle off one person's shoulders only to have the infection spread to the heart.
  • developed some annoying atopic dermatitis on my hands.
  • eaten much more fiber than usual. Fiber can head off sooooo many bad things.
Did I mention that I am getting very familiar with retractors? I'm sure my fling with surgery will actually be an affair with retractors. Just in time for me to move on to OB/GYN (I hear they have retractors, too!!!), it will be my wife who picks up an affinity for those ubiquitously med student driven tools.

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