Endings and Beginnings

Tomorrow, I start my tenth and final week of fourth year surgery. I am not what you might call a natural surgeon. I was heard to ask (wail) last year if I really needed the ChB part of my degree, and certainly the last two months have done nothing to seduce me away from the joys of medical ward rounds and multidisciplinary management and unanaesthetised patients.

It has had its moments. The thing with the drill from last week. A surgeon who told me that my steady hands would be wasted in haematology. A different surgeon who told a patient that I would be better than him, one day (what, you’re surprised that I possess an ego?). Even the one very late Friday night, when I palpated the popliteal pulse from inside the knee and then watched as a clamp was released and a blue foot turned pink.

It has had its unmoments too, of course. I’ve encountered the sort of old-fashioned blatant paternalism that I’d almost begun to think didn’t exist anymore. And for the first five weeks, that public transport commute to the very edge of Scotland in the dark and cold of early February, which wasn’t the surgeons’ faults but was something that I could happily have lived without.

On the whole, I have enjoyed it more than I expected to.

I have realised that I will probably not hate my surgical foundation jobs as much as I’d thought I would.

I am desperately desperately looking forward to being among physicians once more.


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