I’ve been extrememly busy and haven’t had a lot of time to blog lately. I started my Surgery rotation at Dandenong Hospital two weeks ago and am attached to the Maxillofacial Surgery (MFS) Unit. It was difficult to get back into “it” having had Summer holidays and then a Holiday rotation but I can feel my body get into the rhythm of sleep deprivation.
My usual daily routine is waking up at 6:15am and leaving the house at 7am with my breakfast – an “Up and Go” drink in one hand while I speed down Princes Highway towards Dandenong Hospital for 7:30am wardrounds. The ward is not too busy, we only have 2-3 patients at a time because most are acute trauma/assault cases who only stay for a short period of time after surgery. Then it is coffee (or hot chocolate in my case) and maybe a tute with the registrar or consultant then off to theatre. 30-60 minutes of waiting around for the patient or for the anaesthetists then it is fixing mandible (jaw) fractures, orbital fractures, frontal sinus fractures, excising oral cancers, manipulating nasal fractures and facial reconstruction procedures. Lunch. Then it is theatre again or outpatients where we follow up patients post surgery or admit new patients for surgery.
Despite the early mornings I am enjoying this rotation a lot so far. Having secretly harbour an interest for facial reconstruction in cases of trauma and malignancy, I was really looking forward to being with this unit. There are no other medical students or interns, just me, the registrars and consultants with occasional dental residents who I have to compete with for attention every now and then. Everyone has been so lovely which unnerves me sometimes because I’m expecting some kind of blow out anytime soon. Maxfac requires a dentistry and a med degree but the reg has been so gracious in trying to teach me the necessities for Med as that is what I’ll need next year when I am an intern. We even met up an hour early before Local Anaesthetic clinic so he could give me a tute on IV fluids!
The consultants ask questions but never put me down if I get it wrong, instead give me hints. The Head of Department kept interrupting me while I was seeing patients to show me cases and teach me and he has also offered me to join him and his private lists. The other day I met a patient who had a history of a cancer which required complete removal of her nose and upper lip region. She now wears a prosthetic and it looks absolutely amazing!
What has been scaring me the most is that I think I’m enjoying this profession. After complaining of the stress of Med for 4-5 years, am I really going to become a doctor and then study 4-5 years of dentistry to do this? I don’t know. I guess I still have the whole year to think and experience other units, so for now… it is just a thought.