I miss patients

One of the things I dislike about surgical subspecialties rotations is that because they are only 1-2 weeks long, you aren’t following patients the way you do on standard 5 week rotations.  There’s really no point.  So we float along, watching a few surgeries operations*, doing time in clinic.  There’s no continuity, though, unless Serendipity comes along and waves her magic wand.  By pure chance, my former medicine patient became my pre-surgical clinic patient, and then I reorganized my schedule to be able to see his surgery operation**.  He was a sweetheart of a guy, very jokey, loved messing with me by asking inane questions.  (“How does the ear work?”)

Aside from that, though, it’s a lot of wandering around without any responsibility or investment in patient care.  I scrubbed to retract on the removal of a parotid tumor, which is a very delicate operation because of the facial nerve running right there.  It was interesting to see, but I’d never met the patient before her surgery operation***, and I never saw her post-op (she went home later that day, I think).  So….

Bottom line: I miss having patients.  I don’t know what I’m going to do about that next year.

* One of my older and wiser friends says “Surgery is a field; the procedures are called operations.”
** But I think this is trying too hard.
*** Yep, ridiculous.  I’ll go back to being uncouth.

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