Match day has come and gone and I have to say that I was pretty surprised at the number of my classmates that entered surgery. I cannot fathom what makes these people want a lifetime of being overstressed and overworked. Is it the fascination with cutting and looking at the open abdomen? Is it the long 14-hour days of wallowing in crap that get you pumped? How about not having a lunchbreak…ever?
Whatever it is, I’d like to know. “To cut is to cure” as they say. Yeah, curing the patient maybe. But what about your own health? These guys oftentimes cannot find time to eat, let alone go to the gym or otherwise promote some form of a healthy lifestyle. Honestly, I believe that surgeons are some of the most out of shape people I’ve ever seen.
The “training” process begins in the 3rd year of medical school, where they get you “used” to the long hours. Then comes residency where you are required to live at the hospital with three to four days off per month at best. By the time these guys are done with training, they’ve forgotten what it’s like to live a normal life and have a decent sleep schedule. By this time, it’s all over. You fit the mold. You’re a surgeon.
It’s no wonder the burnout rate is so high. Everyday you run the risk of being exposed to some form of infectious disease. Everyday you must dodge feces, blood and urine in order to accomplish your normal tasks. Everyday you stand for hours on end.
Clinic, OR, clinic, OR, more clinic, more OR.
Eat when you can, sleep when you can, shit when you can.
Don’t fuck with the pancreas.
It never ends.
“Surgeons are overtrained, glorified mechanics. I’d rather have grease than blood on my hands.”