I’m BACK!!!!! That means my 5 week surgery rotation is OVER-
Actually, I’m really only excited that it’s over because it means I can start blogging again.
On the other hand, I’m sad it’s over because…dare I say it… surgery has been my favorite rotation of all of third year!
I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much I learned about medicine and myself. It was awesome.
Before I go into any detail I have to say a HUGE thanks to the girls who guest posted for me while I was away:
And a HUGE thanks to you if you’re reading this and you didn’t forget me forever 🙂
Since my blog centers around food, fitness, and science (mostly food..) I will just go ahead and recap my last month under those 3 headings. Here we go:
I was lucky enough to be placed at a hospital that is overflowing with free food. There is a lunch catered in for the residents every day. The clerkship directors give you gift cards for the cafeteria. There is a doctor’s lounge on every single floor that is permanently stocked with everything you could ever want to snack on as well as entire meals throughout the day.
On each rotation I’ve had thus far, we always have a “team room”. A room where we meet before morning rounds. A room we hang out in writing notes, putting in orders, etc. It’s the home base. Packing lunch each day has always been easy for me because I could keep it in the team room. I knew we would be back to the team room to have lunch each day whether we bought something from the cafeteria or not.
Well THIS rotation was different. There was NO TEAM ROOM. No home base. I was given a locker to put my things in each day, but that was way on one side of the hospital. For the rest of the day we were all over the place. There was no telling where we would have lunch. So there was literally no way for me to pack lunch; I would have had to carry it with me all day! Can you imagine me in the OR with my lunchbox?
For the first week, everything went okay. I made (mostly) healthy choices and felt okay about just eating whatever was available when the time came for lunch. But by the second week I started giving in and eating cookies, granola bars, bagels, cereal, anything with carbs and sugar. By week 3 I started to feel the impact of all the processed food and sugar. It is INCREDIBLE how quickly my body reacted to all the crap I was eating! I found that when I came home, I craved more garbage. So I would snack on more carby things and not make a real dinner. My energy was down. AND… I DEFINITELY gained weight. Definitely.
This got me thinking about how easy it is to gain weight and fall into unhealthy habits! Literally everyone at the hospital was eating this stuff- and to them it was all normal. When that’s your normal, you don’t realize the harm it could be doing. (Harm over the long term of course… I’m never one to pass up the occasional cookie).
I had to make a change. So after week 3 I decided that I would pack my lunch each day and I would just have to make it work. I kept my lunch in my locker and would sneak off for 10 minutes and scarf it down when we had time between cases. I took my lunch to clinic. I told my resident that I was going to go grab my lunch and I would meet him somewhere in 10 minutes. It wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but those last 2 weeks of healthy eating had a gigantic impact on my energy level and my confidence.
I guess that just goes to show that making the right decision for you can be tough but you just have to make it work!!
Thank goodness for at home workouts because I didn’t set foot in my gym this month!
Toward the beginning of the rotation I spent a lot of time on my treadmill reading notes. I had TONS of studying to do at the beginning so that when my attending surgeon asked me questions I wouldn’t look like a moron.
I would read and run, sprint, read and walk on an incline, read and run and watch the Real Housewives… all that.
These past few weeks have been great for my workouts! I’ve been doing Chalene Extreme and Cathe Xtrain- both focused on heavy strength training which is what I’m always lacking! I seriously LOVE both of these DVD sets and I will do a full review soon.
If you have workout DVDs, a set of dumbbells (the kind that you can change weight is the best- mine go from 5-25lbs), a stability ball, and maybe a band but you don’t even need it- That’s a home gym!! Throw in a treadmill (I bought mine for $200 on craigslist) and you are all set! I highly recommend setting up a home gym because when your schedules get tight you can ALWAYS workout at home.
If you know me, you know I am an early to bed, early to rise kind of girl. At the end of the day, I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to study, I sometimes want to workout but generally not. If I need to get something done, I do it in the morning. For most rotations, I worked out in the afternoon but since my surgery days were so long, I was exhausted when I got home and there was no way a workout was going to happen.
So… I started working out in the morning! That is something I used to hate and now it’s become fairly routine! Some days I get up at 3am or 3:30 and workout for 30 minutes to an hour. I’m out the door by 4:30 or 5am. When I get home at 6pm I make dinner, study/clean/talk to Kyle and it’s bedtime at 8pm. This schedule might sound CRAZY to some people… but I love it. It really works for me. You have to find what works for you!
Holy Moly I learned a lot. As far as third year rotations go, I like any rotation in which I feel involved. If I feel like my patients are my patients I put more into the rotation. If I feel valued on the team, as though if I wasn’t there, it would be a big deal- I like the rotation. If I am held responsible for things, I like the rotation. When I feel as though it doesn’t make a difference whether I’m there or not, I have a harder time liking the rotation.
I loved my neuro rotation because I felt responsible for my patients. I had 3 particular patients I will remember FOREVER. I knew more about them than my residents did because they were my job. I loved my pediatrics inpatient rotation for the same reason. Those kids were under my care (kind of…).
Surgery was no different. I was responsible for writing the notes on our 10-12 patients every single day. If I wasn’t there, my resident would have to write the notes. I felt needed and part of the team. That to me, is what makes a great rotation.
And of course, the OR. I love being in the operating room. I think it’s so cool! I think surgery is such an art and when you watch someone who is skilled, it’s beautiful.
My resident taught me how to tie surgical knots and said I learned faster than anyone he’s ever seen. He said I was better than some of the residents! My secret- spending my childhood making friendship bracelets! I swear, they are the exact same knots! HAHA!!
For the first time, I saw trauma, gun shot wounds, cancer, death. All things you don’t want to see, but things I think are necessary to see if you’re planning a career in medicine.
Anyways, I loved it and I would love to tell you more about it so if you have questions just ask!
And if you’re in medical school- I studied for the NBME shelf using the Pestana/Kaplan notes, NMS case files, Blueprints, and USMLE World Qbank.
So tell me what’s going on with you!!! Fill me in!!!
How about the top three things that have happened to you in the last 5 weeks?