Saturday, March 21, 2015

Week 17/18: you are not here to work, you're here to learn!

Sorry for the delay everyone! I took off this past week to stay out of the hospital and study for the usmle step 2 coming up really soon (March 30th). The week before this one was my first week in the new hospital.

My mornings are quite different now. I still get up around 5:30am but then take the bus at 6:24 to the train station, take the train at 7:03 and arrive in Hildesheim around 7:33, walk about 15 minutes to the hospital and start work around 8. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays we have lectures until 5pm which doesn't get me back to my apartment until about 6:30. Due to the over hours we accumulate with the lectures, we get off Tuesday or Friday every other week. 

I'm currently in my surgical rotation. On the first day, we spent most of the time running around the hospital getting our lab coats, having lockers assigned to us, picking up our I.d. and chip cards. One of the surgeons sat down with us to divide us up in the departments. The first week I was in thoracic surgery. Then it'll be as follows for varying amounts of time: pediatric surgery, vascular surgery, general surgery and lastly trauma surgery.

I have a few vacations planned in between as well. 

My first week in a new hospital and new department went well. I spent everyday in the OR. I'd never really been in contact with thoracic surgery before and in the few days there I assisted in removing a lung, taking lung samples, cleaning out an infected pleural space, thoracoscopy and tracheotomy placement. It was cool to feel a breathing lung and touch a beating heart. 

The department is way smaller compared to what I'm used to. Thoracic surgery in this hospital consists of three people: chief, attendant and resident. Huge contrast to what I'm used to. But the whole hospital is a smaller scale than the university setting I've been working in. It's seems much more small town-y. People will open the doors for you, ask if you'd like some coffee, have a conversation with you. The chief himself sat down with me and discussed x-ray pictures with me. He made sure that I saw a lot and helped where I could. He also said that I'd be much better off being a thoracic surgeon than God forbid an urologist! It's so funny, the last few months I've lived in my urology world and thought it was the most normal thing in the world to want to be a urologist, work in that setting and treat those patients. Ever since I've come to the new hospital, everyone is amazed at my decision, shocked almost and tries to convince me to do something else and teases me about wanting to be a urologist. The urologists in the hospital are all supposedly really nice though and seem to have a lot to do. The other doctors like the urologists, they just can't wrap their mind around the idea of me becoming one.

One of the first things that the doctor that greeted us told us was that we are not there to work but rather to learn. We are supposed to get insight into the different departments and be as hands on as possible. That is great news for us! I really do look forward to learning a lot. I'll even be more excited once this board exam is over so I can actually relax and enjoy the time in the hospital. If the other departments are anything like the thoracic surgeons, I will be learning a lot!

Monday I start in pediatric urology, super excited! There is one surgeon who does pediatric urology. I'll try to work with him as much as possible. This upcoming week will be quite stressful since it's the week before my exam and I'll try to focus on that as much as possible. I apologize in advance if there is another week delay on the next post. I'll try to fit it in in one of my study breaks but no promises. Who knows what state I'll be in two days before the exam. 

Quick update on my meeting with the pediatric surgeons. In a nutshell, I was introduced to a little boy with a urological condition who comes from Azerbaijan. His family is in Germany on a scholarship and came in the hopes of receiving better care for their son. Unfortunately the insurance doesn't cover preexisting conditions. I've presented his case to the pediatric surgeons and urologist and have asked administration to let me know what the diagnostic test and most likely surgery will cost since the money will have to be fundraised. My fundraising goal is now set at about $13,000. I've been meeting with some people and getting the ball rolling on things and as of right now, if everyone pulls through, it seems promising. Up first is the diagnostic test to see how extensive the condidition is and what the best treatment option would be. In the upcoming posts I'll share a little more about this little boys story and also share information on how you can help me help him and his family if you want! 

Stay healthy everyone!


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