Med School Hell – Really, What’s So Great About Surgery?

This post is raw and holds nothing back. If you’re uncomfortable with vulgar language, please turn back.

November 26, 2007
By: Hoover


After taking a look at this thread, it really got me thinking again about why anyone would even consider a career in surgery.

I carried protein bars etc in my pockets and it came in handy. Surgery rotations were tough – I had to do 3 months, one of them over December. I had one day off – Christmas day – they paged me but I did not answer the page.

Carrying protein bars because you really don’t have time to eat and then getting paged on your only single day off — Christmas day, no less. What the fuck are people who want a lifetime of this really thinking?

I used to do my wash in shifts because I was too tired to stay up and put it in the dryer. It means having lots of easy to prepare food at home and never trying to run out of essentials: soap, TP, etc. because who wants to run out to the store when they get home after a really long day?

A career that doesn’t even allow you to complete basic day-to-day tasks such as washing clothes? I’ll pass, but thanks, anyway. Cutting on people can’t possibly be that good.

G-surg IS that bad at MANY places. I would know. Today is day 15. I broke 200 hours today. I’ve been in the hospital for no less than 10 hours of every day but one of the past 15. I got meal tickets on November 1st to cover breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the entire month of November. I should have used 31 of them. I’ve only used 20, and my team has ordered delivery for one of those missed meals. The day of my first short call I went from lunch to lunch the following day without eating anything because I was in the OR when the cafeteria closed for the night and I was back in the OR the next AM before it opened for the day. I usually get to pee, but only because there are bathrooms everywhere in this hospital.

Maybe this guy gets it. I sure as hell hope so since there are way too many idiots who seem to think surgery is God’s gift to medicine.

I get up at 4 every morning. Every fourth night I am required to work until 11, which really means working until 11, wrapping up the last few things and getting out at 11:30. Alternately it means getting pulled into the OR at 10:45 and being there until the case is finished. You are still expected back, on the floor, at 5 AM the next day no matter how late the case goes. If your fourth night falls on Friday or Saturday you stay until the following morning (usually around 10 AM). If it’s Sunday, you come in from 6 AM (yay, an extra hour of sleep!) until 11 PM.

Yep, I think he sees the light. One down, many more to go…

So Really, What’s So Great?

Finish up reading the thread and you’ll see pretty much the same — people complaining about their chosen field. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or even a neurosurgeon) to know what the hell you’re getting yourself into before matching into surgery.

I feel little sympathy for these guys. They rotated through surgery as a junior medical student and probably even did a Sub-I in surgery during their senior year. If that’s not enough to convince them that the lifestyle sucks, then maybe they’ll realize it when they burn out 5 years down the road and switch into Pathology.

Are you convinced to leave medicine? If so, you may feel like you are alone. You may feel clueless about what to do next. However, quitting medicine could turn out better than you have ever thought possible. And here is why you should get out …

This article is part of Hoover’s Med School Hell series. Med School Hell reveals the crazy truth about the crappiness of the US medical education and healthcare system … while making you laugh so hard, you’ll crap in your pants.

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