I was nervous at the thought of meeting professors I had met in class, senior and graduate friends who would be walking around with their white coats on. And I with mine, my personal name labeled on it.
I am interested in doing residency in cardiovascular surgery or orthopedic surgery, so this time I chose orthopedic surgery (OS) for my subinternship.
Our hospital is famous for ER and receiving a high load of traumatic patients. OS residents were dying of fatigue and they couldn't care less that I was there to shadow them.
I didn't expect much attention anyway and was even fearful of the military discipline that is prevalent in OS in Korea. No surprise that it is common for residents to quit their jobs because of the workload and stressful lifestyle.
All I can say is that I am so fortunate to have voluntarily applied for this subinternship. The professor has shown keen interest in me and luckily the resident I am shadowing is a senior whom I've known since 4 years ago. I had helped him several times with translating publications. There were 3 other residents whom I had prior aquaintences. They were all incredibly polite and tried to help me out in difficult situations.
The professor had a liking towards me and asked me many questions. He told me that stamina was most important when it comes to getting selected for residency. If I could stay fit he told me that I had a good chance of getting in. As I am quite atheletic, to be able to consider applying for such a competitive program such as OS was great news.
After 2 days of following a resident, I had a desire to do suturing. I had carefully monitored the doctors when they were dressing the patient and since I knew I had to do it some day in the future as a surgeon there was this eagerness boiling inside me. I watched tutorial videos online, and the next day?... I got chance to do it haha
It was unbelieveavle. You know the saying that opportunities arrive to those who are prepared? It was just that. I was given two small sites to do the suturing and I made 5 stitches in total.
As merely a medical student, this is an uncommon sighting.
This was possible because the professor told me to scrub in for every single operation. As a subintern there isn't much practical reason for me to scrub in other than the advantage of getting close to the patient. Whatever the reason, the professor gave me the best conditions to feel engaged and I owe him a lot for that.
From delivering coffee and groceries, cutting stitches and doing suction on blood leaks, I actually stitched a live person's wound. A person under anesthesia.
The resident asked me in surprise "is this your first time suturing? Your knots are pretty good considering that this is your first time."
Yessir, it was my first time and it feels good to be some kind of use to the doctors ;)
Subinterning is not always merry. It's tiring, but here and there you are blessed and it's a great feeling to get a glimpse of hope of your future. Here in your own university.