Thursday Born

The everyday life of a psychiatry resident (who was born on a Thursday).

Otolaryngologists hate Fridays

with 2 comments

That’s the only way I can explain how on my ENT rotation, Fridays have always been my longest days, and two of them have been my longest days in the hospital (on a day I wasn’t on call). Seventeen hour days are a serious test of endurance, but twelve and fifteen hour long surgeries probably go by a lot faster when you have more to do than watch and help retract. I did get to make the final cut that took out a tumor yesterday though, and was even allowed (under Attending guidance) to wield one of the electric cauterization tools for a few minutes while the resident scrubbed back in. So much fun! I was really disappointed when the resident came back and took over. :(

But mostly, my job is to help close the case. Put in a few of the more superficial sutures, cut the tails for the deeper sutures, and staple the main incision closed (which is a two person job; one person to hold the stapler, another to use tweezers to hold the skin together). The second year resident and I were complimented on the beautiful job we did with the stapling! She had really good technique; I don’t think anyone’s ever guided my stapling that specifically, and it wasn’t annoying at all.

Also, neck dissections? Pretty cool at the end! If you’ve taken a human cadaver dissection class, you might be thinking “Huh, a neck dissection? I’m sure it’s not actually what it sounds like to me.” Except it is! ENT doctors do neck dissections when someone has a head and neck cancer and they need to take out lymph nodes to look for metastases. This involves meticulously dissecting out the neck anatomy, because you can’t just haphazardly cut into the neck without damaging a large number of important nerves and vessels, so you need to clean and identify all the structures you care about before you can take out the nodes you want. At the end of the neck dissection, it looks a lot like a cadaver dissection, except it’s alive and oozing some blood, and things are intact because surgeons have far more skill than first year medical students.

Written by Aba

September 3, 2011 at 8:41 am

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. I can’t believe you got to use the bovie, I’ve always wanted to do that! I loved neurosurgery because they let me do so much stuff- general surgery is so much more boring. ENT sounds interesting; I’m doing it for my surgical subspecialty rotation 4th year.


    September 3, 2011 at 9:23 am

    • ENT’s a great choice to rotate through. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! And yeah, I’m still really happy about getting to use the bovie. I actually got to use it again! And the bipolar! =D


      September 15, 2011 at 8:40 pm

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