|Always happy to operate!
Wow, what can I say? I'm in the second month of my plastic surgery residency, and truly loving every single moment of it! Not a day goes by that I don't wake up with a smile on my face and excited for the opportunity to pursue my passion. I'm still in a bit of disbelief that all this is happening, but it just makes me push to work harder. Anyway, I got off work early today and finished my studying, so time for an update!
My first month was a great transition back to residency life. I was on the General Surgery service at my main hospital, and our patient census was manageable to the point where we had all the notes, rounds, and floorwork done before the first case of the day. This meant I was in the operating room almost daily, which was great! Additionally, we took home call which was a lot different than my previous program. On call days, we were provided an Iphone which was used to receive consults and text back and forth to other services. A million times better than holding a pager! I had to cover both campuses of my hospital, but luckily I live pretty equidistant to both and I didn't receive too many calls in the middle of the night. I honestly enjoyed being able to come home during my call, take a shower, and semi-relax. During my previous time as an intern, call days consisted of 28ish hour shifts where we stayed in the hospital. It was so nice being able to sleep in my own bed last month! The only downside with home call is there are no post-call days, but even with being woken up and having to come in every now and then, I usually got a decent amount of sleep. No post-call days off also meant I didn't have to miss out on all the good cases the next day, so I was happy.
|Work hard, play harder #MiamiStyle
To wrap up July thoughts, I honestly couldn't have asked for a better first month. I scrubbed a decent amount of cases, had time to study daily, AND even managed to have a social life! Living in Miami is such a cool experience, and I managed to find a circle of fellow black female resident physicians who I hang out with whenever our schedules align. I never really cared about where I would end up for residency since securing a categorical spot was my top priority, but now that I am in my training, I truly see the value of location. I mean seriously, who needs to fly away for a vacation, when you literally live in paradise?!?! Plus, the warm weather and sunshine on my days off will probably be a huge help when it hits the winter months and residency fatigue starts to set in.
|New hospital, New Badge
As for August, this month I am rotating at an outside hospital and on a service which covers General Surgery, Vascular Surgery, and Surgical Oncology. The volume is a lot heavier than last month, but I feel a bit more in my element since I tend to thrive in busy environments. Additionally, the hospital I'm rotating at has an established General Surgery residency program, so it's fun working with, learning from, and interacting with the other residents. I thought it was just my program, but the surgical culture that I've experienced throughout my time here across different hospitals has been such a pleasant experience. Teaching and teamwork are valued, all the residents I've interacted with are helpful and nice (even the chiefs), and off time outside of the hospital is respected. I'm enjoying soaking in as much knowledge as I can while improving my skills, and being in environments that value residents makes the experience even better.
|Not even the mask can conceal my happiness!
I just finished my second week of the August General Surgery rotation, and I have to say it was probably my favorite so far. Monday was a busy day with an early start. I arrived at work at 5am and quickly helped my team update our patient list in time for 6am rounds. I also have Plastic Surgery didactics every Monday at 7am, and it was my turn to present that day so around 645am, I left the team and found a quiet spot to present my lecture on Wound Healing and Scars. I think it went pretty well and I was happy that I was able to make it both informative and succinct since we usually have to make it to our cases afterwards. Following didactics, I found my team and my chief was like "Good news, you're going on a field trip!". I thought he meant to go find something in the hospital, so I was surprised when the other resident offered to drive. Turns out one of our attendings had a case at an outpatient facility, so we were off to do surgery. There are no words to begin to describe how amazing it was! The attending let me scrub in and complete the cases from start to finish with him working as my assistant. Even more awesome was the fact that he cheered me on, gave compliments, and when I asked how I should proceed, he let me figure it out on my own. It was my first time since starting this year where I felt alive and in my element. The attending was even nice enough to let me update the families, and since they were all Spanish-speaking, he allowed me to have the conversation but stood by my side and helped when I was unsure of how to say something (my basic conversational Spanish is decent, but I'm working on my medical Spanish). The facility even bought lunch for all of us, so you know I was super happy! On Wednesday, the same attending had cases at our hospital, so I had the opportunity to scrub with him on an open inguinal hernia repair. Not going to lie, I was beyond happy that the chief resident scrubbed into the case too, because there was no way I was going to be able to figure out what to do on that case lol. We pretty much did the entire case together with the attending guiding us and acting as an assist when needed. It was incredible! Moments like the ones I experienced last week are a reminder that I am on the right path and it makes all the long hours and hard work feel truly worth it.
|She's growing too fast!
Oh, and in non-residency related news, my daughter started the 9th grade last week. Can you believe I'm the mother of a high school Freshman?!?! So incredibly proud that she continues to grow and thrive while being supportive of me reaching my dreams. I'm so incredibly blessed!
|A reminder that I look good outside of these scrubs lol
Welp, that's pretty much it for updates. I have been working this weekend, but it hasn't been bad. Turns out it's not a true "call" weekend, but just a weekend where I come in like a normal day, do rounds, complete the floorwork, scrub cases if any, and then go home when the work is done. There were no cases today, so I was able to come home early enough to get slightly ahead in my readings, do a few sets of questions to reinforce my knowledge, and now have time to relax, type this post, and go find some ratchet TV to watch before going to bed tonight. My next post most likely won't be until next month when I'm on Orthopedic Surgery, but I look forward to sharing more of my adventures with you!