Sutures and Resuscitations 😎

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 🙂

I wrote my surgery EOB test 😅It was not easy to find time to study whilst on this rotation because of the late nights and labour intensive duties we had. We’ll see what my results make of it 😅😅
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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 🙌

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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😅

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Lots of Lily Love ❤❤ (LOLL)

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6 thoughts on “Sutures and Resuscitations 😎

  1. Hi Lily, I’m Mo and I’m a grade 10 high school student. It’s my dream to study medicine. Do you have any advice or tips to get me get in? Thanks 🙂

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    1. Hi Mo , I hope you’re well ! That’s a very loaded question but I’ll do my best to help you out . I’m assuming that you’re asking about studying Medicine in South Africa (correct me if I’m wrong).

      Tip #1 : Make sure that YOU really want to do medicine. Don’t apply for medicine in the hopes of pleasing anyone else but yourself. If you are getting pressure from family or friends to do medicine or are possibly thinking of pursuing another degree , rethink your decision. You are the one who will have to do the tests , the exams , the calls and put in the hard work. Make sure that you are prepared for that. There are moments when nothing but your ambition will keep you going. If you are not wholeheartedly invested , you will find it difficult to stay motivated .

      Tip#2: Find out more about medicine. Job shadow a doctor, talk to medical students , read up about medicine , read blogs from medical students (I guess you’ve already done that ;)) and make sure that you really want to pursue a career in it. Find out what it’s like . The good , the bad and the ugly (especially the ugly).

      Tip#3 : Different factors influence acceptance into medical school but probably the most important are your academic results. Your academic results need to be competitive. Ensure that you have at least an A average . There is no “perfect” mark but cover your bases and achieve as high as you can. Your Grade 11 and 12 results are going to be really important If your marks are not yet where you want them to be , work a little bit harder , get tutors and extra assistance. You’re in grade 10 now and you have time to work on your academics.

      Tip #4 : Be involved at school. Take on a few extra-curricular activities that you enjoy and participate regularly in them. It helps to keep you balanced because life cannot always be about studying. Join your interact society , sign up for choir or do a service at your school. Do a sport if you can manage it 🙂 The trick with extracurriculars is to choose the ones that you really enjoy so it doesn’t seem like an unnecessary burden. Even if something “looks good” on your application , if you don’t enjoy doing it , you will end up stressed and that can impact your academics (which happen to be far more important).

      Tip#5: You might have a specific institution you want to go to but keep in mind the competitiveness of medicine. You have to apply to more than one institution. I suggest a minimum of two universities. Make a list of potential universities you would want to attend for medicine. Find out all about those places. Campus tours and open days are excellent ways to get more information about a potential place of study. Once there enquire about the admission requirements , student life and their specific medical course. Each institution does the medical degree a little differently and the requirements tend to change from year to year so stay knowledgeable about that .

      Tip #6: Medical school is EXPENSIVE. The course itself is expensive more so if you intend on moving away from your hometown to study , residence fees are implicated. Read up on bursary and scholarship opportunities. Apply for every single one. Have a talk with your parents / guardian and explain the financial ramifications of doing medicine. You might have to take out a loan if necessary. My point is ; apply for every single opportunity for bursaries and scholarships.

      Tip#7: Focus on your dream . Use it to help you keep going ! Keep the bigger picture in mind 🙂 For me it’s the Dr that will precede my surname and the badass life-saving skills I’m going to acquire !

      I hope you find my essay useful 😀 Drop me an email (lillydoesmedschool@gmail.com) if you have any other questions or queries .

      Keep well ❤

      Lots of Lily Love (LOLL) ❤ ❤

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