1.6% Done!

(Or 1.4% if I do a year of research. Amazing that a year doesn't make more difference.) I've been a surgeon for just over a month; that month has varied between excruciating and not too bad. The program at KUMC is set up for a reasonable amount of time off; I work long hours (typically about 6 AM to 6:30 PM) but only take overnight call twice a month. This “nice” schedule is due partly to my first month being a rotation on the brand-new Breast Surgery service, one that's not yet entirely established as a full team (until next week, when I change to a different service, it's only an intern, a second-year “senior”, and a single attending). If nothing else, it's given me the opportunity to update this blog.

That's something I wasn't sure I'd be doing anymore. I get tired, and these are far from the worst hours I'll have this year, quite possibly the opposite. I'm the first to admit I've felt like giving up more than once, and have been trying to find things in my life to give up other than those few things which are—or should be”most important to me: Lindsey, my home, and my career. I've backed off on most other aspects of life as much as is possible while still keeping my (marginal) sanity, but keep trying to take some time to combine projects from the above three, like doing paperwork in the study with Lindsey, working around the house at the same time she is, and so forth. We're also still getting the opportunity to go out for a meal and a movie once every week or two, a nice little surprise. (The Simpsons Movie is good, by the way, and Hairspray isn't.)

I have to give Lindsey a lot of credit, here. She's taken over a lot of work around the house, stuff I was doing (or which wasn't being done) when we lived in Los Angeles. She's clearly working hard both at home and at her new job at Mercer, but keeps her spirits significantly higher than mine while taking care of me at the same time. I've known for a long time how amazing she is, and still keep being impressed by it. Okay, enough gushing. Apparently it doesn't become the jaded surgeon I'm aspiring to be.

Much to my surprise, I have actually been able to scrub on several cases a week. First assist on a few, and I've even been a “Junior Surgeon” on two cases. (Sure, they were pilonidal abscess excisions, but they were my pilonidal abscess excisions.) This, again, is partly due to working for a single attending, but I'm not begrudging it—I was honestly expecting not to scrub at all this year. I know I won't be able to keep this up on all services, but it's a nice surprise.

The month's been rough—echoing one of my friends from Keck, it's certainly the hardest thing I've ever done. And this is just the beginning. I don't expect to have a truly “hard” rotation until September, but at least that's one I start with a one-week vacation. In the meantime, I'll blog when I can, so keep checking back—just don't expect it terribly often. Thanks for reading.