I've definitely been spending much more of my waking hours in the hospital than out of it as of late. I'm here acting like that hasn't been a thing ever since third year started, but I've particularly noticed it these past couple of weeks. Maybe it's because unless I happen to be gazing out of a window in the hospital, I don't see daylight much these days. Shoutout to these frigid winter months. Maybe it's because I've been consistently waking up at the ridiculously early time of 4:15 AM each day and getting back home well past 5 PM on a normal basis, sometimes ending my shift as late as 7 PM. Or maybe it's because I haven't had anywhere near as much free time as I've been able to work in during the past several months leading up to this rotation, so I just feel like I'm on a continuous grind. Regardless of whatever it is, I've definitely been feeling like I pretty much live at the hospital. 😅
I've been staying very busy while scrubbing in and out of surgeries, attending meetings, attempting to study, filling out applications, trying to get my future together and checking in on patients, and I've been learning so much while I've been doing so. I've also realized that because of my schedule, I haven't seen a good amount of my friends in some time and I've been paying less attention to what has been going on in the outside world. It's really crazy how fast time can fly by you and what you can miss when you're deeply focused on a particular task. In this case, the task is performing as well on this Surgical Oncology service as I can while trying to keep up with deadlines, meetings, assignments, my studies, leadership roles, my family and this blog. I've been able to keep everything in check so far only because I've been making a determined effort to effectively utilize the little free time I have during my marathon days and on the weekends. Praise God for the weekends!
Although the time I've spent on this service so far has kept me very busy and has forced me to become more coffee-dependent than usual, there's no doubt at all that I've been getting my money's worth! From being allowed to have full control of the camera during a laparoscopic procedure to burning off vessels during a bilateral mastectomy, I've definitely been made to feel like I'm a useful part of the team, which I've really appreciated. I've even been able to work on my suturing skills by helping (okay, okay, attempting to help) close surgical wounds on some of the patients that we've operated on. Also, while in the operating room (a place that I've now become very accustomed to) and in the clinic, the attending physicians that I work side-by-side with further ensure that I'm getting my money's worth by assessing my knowledge base and then sharing their own knowledge with me. It has been a wonderful learning experience so far, and with this upcoming week being my last week on this service, I'm going to make sure to soak in as much as I can because this may very well be the last time I ever get to see these kinds of operations.
Overall, I've liked my experience on this rotation so far. But if there's something I've learned these past two weeks, it's that you gotta more than like Surgery to want to pursue it….you have to absolutely LOVE it. You have to love it because you'll be spending a TON of time in the operating room learning how to perform various techniques in many different types of operations, and when you're not in the O.R. you'll be very busy managing the multiple patients that you are actively caring for. This lifestyle would leave little time to do other things outside of your job, for you would be practically spending a vast majority of your waking hours at the hospital. That's not to say that surgeons don't have the free time to do whatever else they want to do, because they can definitely find time to do other things that they are passionate about. But with that said, I believe that the happiest surgeons are the ones who absolutely love what they do for a living. I'm so thankful that we have people who love to do surgery, because we absolutely need them and it's not a career path built for everybody. Shoutout to y'all who are embarking or have already embarked on this career path!
I'm all ready to take on this last week of Surgical Oncology, and am even more ready to start my experience on the Ophthalmology service next week! It'll be nice to have some more free time to study and get other things done as well but with that said, I'll forever cherish the unique experiences I've had on this service.
Have an awesome Super Bowl Sunday and a glorious start to Black History Month! I'll most likely be missing the majority of the game and the commercials due to my insanely early bedtime…but that's okay because in return, I get the amazing privilege to help improve the lives of people stricken with cancer! 😄😄😄
“Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” – Bill Bradley
– Black Man, M.D.