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Totally random, but…how does anyone ever become a surgeon?

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

I happened to see my surgeon in the elevator at my doctor's office the last time I visited.   Said "hello", chatted for a bit, and then went on my way.

Then I got this funny feeling...that guy knows me (at least the physical me) more intimately than anyone else in the world.

He has seen the nooks and crannies of my body, and spent hours on several occasions rummaging around in there, seeing what's what up close.

He piled my intestines ON A TABLE and looked at each section like an embroiderer admiring a new length of ribbon.

I've never been able to figure out he gets all those miles of guts back in, in the correct place...I can't even repack a suitcase.

(I once dreamed, while under the influence of post-surgery drugs, of a zombie doctor, snacking as he worked, but I'm pretty sure this guy doesn't do that)

Anyway, it made me wonder how people ever become surgeons in the first place.

To have our lives literally in their hands, to handle the human body without flinching...it's pretty amazing.

I don't know how anybody does it, but I am VERY grateful that there are men and women out there who can pull this off.

I have the feeling that many of us here owe our lives to these folks.

Ramblingly yours, AA

Posts: 1170
Joined: Sep 2012

Surgeons are an interesting group.  It's easy to understand how many of them develop huge egos over time.  Pretty powerful positions they hold.  I actually had the hots for Steve's Hipec surgeon.  In retrospect, I'm sure a lot of the attraction was due to the fact that I thought he might save my husbands life.  He certainly had the whole package going on......nice, confident but not an egomaniac, skilled surgeon, I will end it there although I elaborate in more detail....very easy on the eyes.  Seriously though I can't imagine how dedicated to their craft they would have to be in order to get through all years of university, med school, fellowships, residences....It was all I could do to get through three years ofcommunity college.

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

Omg, you made me laugh there, Chels.  I just started imagining you sneaking smouldering looks at the surgeon while discussing wound care or something.  I wouldn't call my guy "hot", but he did have a very attractive air of confidence about him.  Utterly different from my shrimpy, round-shouldered oncologist.  No suggestive glances from me for that guy.

Actually, the guy who did my very first surgeon was pretty cute.  And had a handshake like his hand was made of steel.  That gave me a good feeling!  I later learned he was seriously into mountain biking and snowboarding.  Very athletic.  I have to think that this might help to be a better surgeon...gotta be strong to stand there for hours sorting through things.

Hmm, this could be a thread all by itself.  "Your Doctor:  Hot or Not?"

danker's picture
Posts: 1105
Joined: Apr 2012

I'll never forget my surgeon.  She was the most caring doctor I have ever met.  Having my colonoscopy on a Friday, the hospital scheduled an appointment with my surgeon on Monday.  Upon getting to her office, the first thing the nurse said  was"the doctor wants you to have an ennema."I refused until I saw the doctor.  She said she had to probe my rear end to see what was going on.  After  her nurse gave me two enemas,she proceeded to examine me  with her finger and a probe.  When she was finished. SHE, the surgeon, and not the nurse proceeded to clean me up.  It made quite an impression on me . While in the hospital and complaining to her that it often took a long time for a nurse to bring me pain reliefe, she immediately ordered a clicker for me, so I could give myself pain reliefe without relying on the nurses.

She was truely a caring Doctor!!!

annalexandria's picture
Posts: 2573
Joined: Oct 2011

It's rare to find a surgeon who combines a caring bed side manner like that with good surgical skills.  Many of them seem to be wizards with the scalpel, but not so great at the compassionate side of things.  I'm glad you had someone like her, Dan.

lp1964's picture
Posts: 1210
Joined: Jun 2013

I went to dental school and now I perform extensive dental implant surgeries, cutting gums, bone, sinus membrane, putting ten screws in my patients heads and suture them up.

But I remember my first anatomy class when they brought in the corpses some classmates fainted and threw up. After all we were all just 18 old high school graduates. But over time it became the most natural thing we do every day. Surgeons don't start making 12 incincisions on people like I have on my belly now. First they just watch, then assist by holding the wound open, the do some finishing stiches. Then they do some minor hernia surgery under supervision and get into more and more complex stuff.

It's amazing what we can learn and get used to.


Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 4899
Joined: Feb 2009

Just was talking to my husband the other day about any surgeon wanting to become a colorectal surgeon - that has to be the worst job looking at everyone's rear end and then having to do the colonoscopies - yuck.  I've lost my surgeon this year and he left my hospital network because of  - well I won't mention it, but I'm really heart broken.  He was the one person that I've felt saved my life and now I'm feeling lost without him.  I'm going to see another surgeon next year for my colonoscopy but it won't be the same.  Surgeons are miracle workers and I'm blessed he came into my life when he did. 


mukamom's picture
Posts: 402
Joined: Oct 2010

good surgeon for his colon/liver resection and ilieostomy/reversal/hernia repair.  Very competent and very good on the eyes!Wink


However, his bedside manner left much to be desired.  We took the CD of Roberts 9cm liver tumor for his opinion on resection and he said there was no way

he could get it without hitting the hepatic vein. And then he turned to us and said, "This cancer is going to kill you; you know that, don't you?" Surprised

He's an Auburn fan, so I guess that explains it.  LOL


Posts: 1019
Joined: Aug 2013

You guys make me laugh. Actually, my brother's surgeon was nice looking and very kind. Since my brother is intellectually disabled, when he had the temporary ileostomy, my brother couldn't handle it. He was having major issues with the skin around it. My brother's surgeon spent over an hour personally arguing with the insurance company to allow him to go to a rehab facility for wound care. He got them to do it until the reversal and also got him homecare for the wound afterward. He was an angel (and nice on the eyes). Not all of them are full of themselves.

thxmiker's picture
Posts: 1282
Joined: Oct 2010

My experience has been, after having to many surgeries, that the surgeons that seem to get personal are the best ones.  I want a Doctor/Surgeon that is invested in me.  The Surgeons that are completely clinical are not the best!  They will get the job done, but if complications arise, they will just think, "That is one of the 5%, Oh Well."   I want a surgeon that will take a problem personel.  "Problems do not  happen when I do surgery!"  

He asked how the cancer and our health is doing.   We told im we had moved and came out for business.  He told us if you need a second opinion, to give him an email or phone call.  What a Nice Guy!   His career has not been motivated by money, but by care!  The money came, because he cares.  We have been fortunate in our lives to have met many great doctors whom have cared.  (Nurses also!) 


Best Always,  mike

Joy1216's picture
Posts: 293
Joined: Mar 2006

The son of one of my friends had two heart surgeries when he was a baby.  He's fine now and in med school to become a pediatric cardiac surgeon!  He wants to help other babies as he was helped.  This is all he's ever wanted to do.

PhillieG's picture
Posts: 4839
Joined: May 2005

Why do some people run into burning buildings when everyone else is running out? I really believe it's a calling and I'm very grateful for both

BigMike's picture
Posts: 17
Joined: Oct 2013

1st thing you have to do is watch this short video... 



(not sure how to make this a hotlink)

I have a feeling most here have probably seen it but in this thread it seems more than appropriate.

I must say when I first found out I had colon cancer and I met my surgeon I was a little scared.  My Dr. turned out to be a young woman.  I guess I just assumed she would be an older man, just my pre-concieved notion I guess.  She turned out to be AMAZING!  Great surgeon, great bedside manner, great person, got me a private room, saved my life!  I could never thank her enough for beeing who and what she is, and for doing what she did for me.

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