While not posting an enormous number of entries, I promise that I have enough stories from my training at the VA to fill pages and pages of blogs.

First of all, I feel that I am really part of this vascular surgery team. Not only from the operations I have been able to participate in (such as just yesterday when I was allowed to saw through the tibia and fibula during an amputation), but also the countless lessons and teaching that I continually receive have all contributed to give me an even better understanding and appreciation for the surgical field.

I fully believe that my chief resident is one of the best – not only in the general surgery program here, but in the nation. He does not merely demonstrate the knowledge it takes to reach his level, but he delineates the compassion and integrity one must have for their service and for their own family. I feel that some of the best advice I have received over the summer has come from stories and lessons he has shared with me that have little to do with medicine at all.

In addition, I have been extremely fortunate to actually receive lectures and advice from both Michael DeBakey and Kenneth Mattox, both of whom answered my specific questions, sitting only feet away. Meeting these distinguished doctors is truly an honor, and I can only hope to achieve a fraction of what they have accomplished. Yet, even after all of their many honors and triumphs, they allotted time to speak with us, and I was able to speak to them (terrified and nervous, of course) as they took my questions and provided detailed responses.

These were moments and words I will never forget.

– Chester