It is October now. That means I have three weeks left of General Surgery! August at the VA was incredibly busy. September was much more manageable on the Surgical Oncology team. I actually got to do some surgeries on my own, just me and the staff surgeon. I performed some melanoma excisions, lymph node biopsies, breast biopsies and lumpectomies, and even a plastic surgery case with skin grafting. It was really fun and I learned so much. In the beginning I was yelled at for my poor knot tying skills which despite my out of the OR practice, were difficult with the anxiety of the OR and the surgeon watching my every move. By the end I had a famous surgeon tell me I have "good hands and a good surgical base." Compliments can be few and far between so I will take it! I really felt that I made some big improvements in a short period of time, going from feeling completely inept to realizing I just need more practice and am doing just fine.
This month I am on vascular surgery. It is probably the least busy rotation yet on GS, at least as far as the at work time. I have very few inpatient responsibilities which leaves me feeling a little lost, "Are you sure you don't need me to do this?" I mostly seen clinic patients. These surgeons do some very interesting things that are mostly over my head. I realized I would much rather look at black teeth than black toes. And am so grateful I can walk without pain. I need to cut down my cholesterol.
Overall, I am getting excited to head back to my oral surgery team in less than a month. I know my forearms will ache after my first few procedures. I know I will be taking more call. And I know I will be a little out of practice. But I also will know a lot more about what is going on and I know I will be doing things every day that I love. Everyone has said that the second year is probably the hardest. I'm getting there!