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What it's like to be a surgeon

February 18, 2015, 12:29 pm | This story has an Influence Score of 1009

By @mariocantin

Written by David Tom Cooke -- originally posted on Quora.com

Being a surgeon is great, and I would do it all over again if I had to. Everyday I am thankful that I chose this career path.  Although it is very difficult, I take satisfaction in helping patients, and being integral in making their quality of life better.

I am a thoracic surgeon, so I completed a general surgery residency, and then a cardiothoracic fellowship.  Now they have integrated 6 year (I-6)cardiothoracic residencies that bypass the need for general surgery residency.  U.C. Davis will soon have an I-6 training program such as this.

I am an academic general thoracic surgeon, so not only do I operate and take care of patients, but I also teach medical students, residents and fellows, and I have academic research interests, and publish manuscripts.

90% of my clinical practice is thoracic oncology, with a special interest in lung and esophageal cancer.  But I take care of all surgical diseases of the chest, excluding cardiovascular surgery.

My work day is as follows:

Monday: Operating room, and I have student office hours from 5-7.

Tuesday: Operating room all day

Wednesday:  Clinic all day, where I see pre and post-operative patients, and other consultations.  Once a month I lecture medical students from 5-6 pm.

Thursday: Operating room, and I have student office hours from 11 – 1pm if I am not in the OR.  1-5pm is my academic time, where I work on my research.

Friday: Teaching conference for Fellows, residents and students from 8-9am.  The rest of day is academic and administrative time. 

I am on call every other weekend, so I do round in the hospital every other weekend, unless I am on vacation or away on a conference, then my partner rounds for me.

Family is extremely important.  So I carve out time for my family.  If I am not on call for the weekend, then I don’t do any hospital or medical school related activities during that weekend.  If you don’t carve out time for your personal life, then the hospital can be all consuming.  I am married, so I live by the mantra, “A happy life is a happy wife”, and “If momma ain’t happy then ain’t nobody happy!”


Source: www.quora.com. Link: http://www.quora.com/What-is-it-like-to-be-a-surgeon

Republished with permission, as per Quora's Terms of Service, under the subsection titled, "Quora's Licenses to You".

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