This past month has been the best month I’ve spent in medical school yet🙌 I have become completely enamored with surgery .I loved everything in surgery😍.
I sometimes needed to whisper “Calm down Lily” when the excitement threatened to bubble over 🙈 !
I was really lucky to be placed with my clinical partner in a fantastic group :). I saw various operative procedures and did a lot of minion work 🙂
I now feel a lot more competent than I was before we started. I can do basic bloods (venous , arterial , cultures) , put up IV lines and RESUSCITATE (not by myself obviously😋) AND SUTURE !!!! #yayme 🙌 💉
Week 1&2: Abdominal Surgery
Everything was awesome ! Our reg was the best , our SIs were so kind and I learnt a great deal. I was inspired to take my studies more seriously seeing all the amazing work the surgeons did. To be completely honest , I had never found abdominal surgery interesting before but now that I’ve seen the theory in practice, I actually love it ! There’s so much to do and it’s amazing to see how surgical interventions are used to make people’s lives easier.
Scrubbing in and assisting on my first operation is a memory that I cherish from abdominal surgery. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Everything felt so surreal. The fact that the operation was done by two amazing and totally badass female surgeons further motivated and validated the choice I had made before coming to medical school to become a surgeon.
Week 3 : Burns & Surgery Triage
Burns was less demanding than abdominal surgery. There was not a lot we could do as students except take good histories and sort of help with the management and planning. Surgery triage was mainly tutorials and the usual admission work.
Week 4: Trauma and EOB Test
Trauma in South Africa is a unique experience. The variety of patients I encountered was astounding. There were broken hips , slipped cervical spine discs , gunshot wounds🔫 (by the dozen) , stabbings🔪 (by the dozen) , train accidents , motor vehicle accidents and community assaults amongst many others.
When I started my call for trauma , what seemed to be a fairly “relaxed” night quickly turned into the most involving resuscitation session i’ve ever experienced . A patient in surgery triage pulled out his entubation tube and suddenly went into cardiac arrest . I performed CPR ! It was incredibly tiring ! One really needs to put some muscle into it 💪💪 It was exhilarating to be in that situation because everything was happening so quickly and everyone on the scene had a specific role to play in the prolonging the life of the patient on hand.
We also had elective students from countries like Germany , England , Belgium and the Netherlands with us . They were mostly final year students so they sort of filled the SI role. When I sutured for the first time , I had assistance from one of them 🙂
All in all , I LOVED surgery😍😍 (I’m probably mentioning this for the umpteenth time). In the future , I think I am going to focus a lot more time and energy on Anatomy.
I’m also going to study harder and better from here onwards because it’s so rewarding to do something knowing that you can rely on the knowledge you have to save lives . My patients in the future deserve nothing but the very best from me.
I will keep practice suturing and basic procedures often so that I don’t forget before my Clinical Skills OSCE at the end of the year;)
I am going to do abdominal surgery and trauma/emergency medicine electives in my fourth and fifth year 🙄 If I get the opportunity to go overseas for an elective it would be fantastic but South Africa, although lacking in infrastructure and resources , is an excellent place to learn.
Lily and Surgery : The journey has officially begun 🙌
Next module : Musculoskeletal 1🙌 I’m hoping to use my newfound motivation and excitement to help me during musculo 🙌
AND I’m finally twenty !! Some patients gave me attitude when I was 19 (apparently I looked 16) but now I’m twenty and that seems like a more credible age especially when you need to take someone’s blood😅
Lots of Lily Love ❤❤ (LOLL)