Chester in Houston

Chester is participating in the Debakey Summer Surgery Program through the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston this summer. The program is designed to provide students with an opportunity to work with faculty, surgical residents, medical students, and nurses. During the eight weeks, students become familiar with the hospital environment, the operating room, and the lifestyle of a surgeon. They are expected to become an integral part of their surgical teams by participating in rounds, surgery, and conferences.

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In the Operating Room

Life at the VA is still the same demanding work, and I am still really enjoying it. It is nice to be able to wear scrubs all day and always be on the move and not confined to a desk.

After morning rounds, we spend most of our time between the OR and visiting patients between cases. We have about three or four cases every day and usually they are all different. As more time has gone on, I have been able to have a more productive role in the operating room. There have been times that we have two OR rooms, and therefore the residents are so spread out that I am able to be the first assistant to the attending. In addition, the team has taken time to show me how to properly close all the different layers of the body. I have developed to a point where they now expect me to do this without being guided.

In addition, every Tuesday and Thursday we have lectures about different fields of surgery. Today we had a lecture about trauma, and I have added another job to my list of specialties I do not want to go into. I am about halfway through this program and still would highly recommend it to those who feel strongly about being a surgeon, for the program really shows you if you can handle it.

After being with this team for a few weeks I have come to understand that it is not just all work and no fun. These guys are always making jokes, taking “some” time off, and can even act like college students at times. They have been so nice to me and treat me as if I was a first year resident (which at times is not so good, especially if I don’t know the answer to their many questions).

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