Rotation #4 : General Surgery
Here are the details~
Specialty: General Surgery
Location: West Covina, CA
Schedule: On Call 24/7 basically. Rounding on all patients + Surgeries + Clinic (Tuesday and Thursday)
How it went down~
This was probably, by far, my FAVORITE rotation. Yes, the hours were CRAZY, but I gained so much. We started on the 1st of the month and worked EVERYDAY until the 31st. During this rotation, I was introduced to the idea of “rounding on patients”. After most surgeries, some patients stay over night or for a couple of days to stabilize. It was our duty to check up on them daily; check their labs, any new imaging, new consults, new treatment plans, etc and report back to the surgeon. Thank goodness- I had my classmate with me on this rotation; Ben was my partner in crime for everything this month. We usually rounded on patients together, scrubbed into surgeries together and saw patients in clinic together. Teamwork!
Here are some of the surgeries we’ve scrubbed in on: Robotic Laparoscopic Cholecystectomies, Appendectomies, Hernia Repairs, Colectomies with Anastomoses, Modified Radical Mastectomies, Wound Debridement, Surgical Incision & Drainage, Lipoma Excisions, and Splenectomies. We saw and did a lot!
The hours varied everyday and each week. On our very last week, we worked around 80 hours -I even worked 14 hours on my birthday and celebrated Christmas in the OR. I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This experience was so worth it.
What to wear: OR scrubs, scrubs, white coat, business casual for clinic days, and clogs. I bought these cheap Crocs clogs and they were perfect for the OR. I also wore compression socks on days we had surgeries.
Prepping for this rotation: I quickly glanced over Surgical Recall (PDF version online somewhere) and I watched a few Youtube videos on the surgeries listed above. I also watched videos on sutures and surgical knots.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help on this rotation! I asked the scrub techs what certain instruments names were and their role. I even asked another surgeon how he tied knots! Everyone gave us tips on how to properly dry our hands, how to glove and not look like a fool (me lol), how to un-gown, how to maintain sterility when switching places, how to wipe incision sites…etc.
Our preceptor was amazing; the staff, the other surgeons, everyone! I had a very positive experience. Medical mission to Tecate, Mexico was also a huge bonus!
Working everyday eventually got the best of me. I was really exhausted most days and I found it hard to work out. When I had free time, I took naps and hung out with family and friends.
Senior Seminar Exam
Each month we have two exams where we have to be on campus on a Friday and Monday. For this month’s SS exam, we were tested on Gastroenterology. I used Quizlet, Rosh Review and asked my classmates how they studied. A huge part of my studying came from being on this rotation! I saw all the GI issues in the hospital and in clinic. Happy to say, I passed!
End of Rotation Exam
For this month, I actually relied on my clinical experience for the exam. I revisited Rosh Review and Quizlets! What’s also helpful is the blueprint on PAEA.
To see more of my day to day on this rotation, check out my Rotation 4 highlights on Instagram !
There wasn’t a December meet-up but there will be one in January! Check the events page for more info!