i don't like long cases... is surgery still right for me?

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dangit
i don't like long cases... is surgery still right for me?

not sure who else to talk to so i'll be posting this here. thanks in advance.basically, i love the OR and love watching and participating in procedures if the opportunity arises, but i don't like cases that run for more than 2 hrs. my attention span goes out the window and i get antsy and frustrated. i think the thing to consider is that i'm a MS III, so for big cases, the field gets crowded with attendings and residents and since i'm on the lowest end of the totem pole, i have stay back and wait until i can take a quick peak at what's going on, which i'm completely fine with because i'm just thankful to even be in the OR. other than that, maybe long cases wouldn't be so bad when i'm a resident because i'll be actively participating, but until then i'll never know. so my question is if i don't like long cases now, should i not consider urology anymore? i heard when you're an attending, you can tailor your practice to not take long cases. is this true? also i heard of all the surgical specialties, urology has more shorter cases compared to other specialities, which i think is awwwwsome! haha i really like cases that take 2 hrs at most. i'm sure most ppl feel this way, but still i'm questioning myself and i was hoping i could get some reassurance or a wake up call that I should look elsewhere if i can't handle long cases.  thanks and i wish everyone the best in the match! urology is amazing!

Edited by: nicky on 05/11/2015 - 19:51 Reason: Updated by FeedsNodeProcessor
Anonymous (not verified)
hey, great post.   the reason

hey, great post. the reason why i decided to comment is that i'm an ms 4 who already turned in my rank list for urology --- and I HATED UROLOGY as a medical student.whats the fun in standing there watching a resident get to blast a stone, and your standing there for 2 hours doing nothing. whats the fun in pelvic surgery when you cant see the field and your standing behind 4 other people.its ridiculous. i don't ever believe people who say that they ENJOY their urology rotations as med students. in fact, i think its one of the worst specialties to rotate through as a med student. once you get over the novely of the robot, endoscopic/laparoscopic procedures are so boring to just watch. you don't get to assist, you dont get to scrub, you don't get to do anything.i think its completely normal. and the reason why I LOVE UROLOGY but hate being a medical student is the one that you highlighted. i know for sure though that I once I will be actively involved and able to master and perform the procedures, there will be nothing better in all of medicine. 

Schpat
Hey, first of all: seeing as

Hey,first of all: seeing as how I am still a med student as well, take whatever I am writing with the world's biggest grain of salt (I do know my limitations ;-D ). So, based on my super limited experience, there seems to be quite a bit of stuff in uro that is under 2h per procedure. A lot of stone stuff (lithotripsy) comes in below 2h (at least from what I have observed, which again, is limited to the med student experience). And particularly if you work in academics you seem to be able to specialize into a niche (e.g. you could be the stone guy).However, either way you will have to work your way through longer cases during residency (gen surg year(s) + longer uro cases) as I understand (again, please everybody correct me if I am wrong)And for what it's worth, I got to assist on a longer procedure (6h ish) in a different specialty/department on resident academic half-day a couple of times, and time seems to fly a lot more when you actually get to do something.Cheers,SP PS: A neurosurgeon I shadowed while being back in undergrad used to make his (pretty good) money by doing carpal tunnels, percutaenous discectomies, and ulnar nerves all day. All of these can be done in way under 1h, if that's what you're into.

dangit
hey anonymous, thanks for the

hey anonymous,thanks for the response. just wondering, how do you know for sure you'll love urology even though you hated it as a med student?i'm not being facetious, but i'm asking in all sincereity because i'm struggling right now. i like the OR, but i'm just bored to death just standing and watching. i imagine myself though, and i think it'll be awesome. for some reason, i have an affinity for endoscopic cases and stones. i really like watching stones get blasted. lolanyway, thanks for your response. ahh... 3rd year sucks. can't wait till i graduate!

dangit
also, another thing about

also, another thing about urology are the people. the residents are very chill people, easy going, extroverted, and loud. definitely rock star personalities.  i tend to be quiet and introverted so it's hard for me to get along with the residents (i don't have beef with any of them of course, but i also don't feel like i'm a part of their club). keep in mind that i've only known them for a short period of time (less than a month) whereas they've had at least a year to get to know each other. so i dunno... i love the field so far and the procedures like fun and i can't wait to them myself, but i just don't know if i'll fit into the surgery "personality". since i'm a med student, i just try to be friendly, smile alot, but i feel like i hold back because i'm afraid i won't fit in with them. argghhh  are there other programs with different personalities? or are all urology programs like how i described?i guess that's why doing aways are important because it shows if you can mesh with other people...  

Anonymous (not verified)
Great posts.  dangit: props

Great posts.  dangit: props for even thinking about this.  I must've had my head in the sand as an MS3, because it would've never occurred to me to wonder whether my experience as a med student would be generalizable to my experience as an actual urologic surgeon.So I discovered that I don't like lengthy, big whack surgeries halfway through my 3rd year of urology residency.  It's at that point in your training that you're actually operating (versus observing or doing endoscopic cases), and it was rather inconvenient to discover that I didn't have a passion for it as I had assumed I would.  It was disorienting enough that I seriously considered leaving urology.  But then 2 things happened: it is absolutely true you'll be able to tailor your career to your goals after residency.  Granted, you'll spend some time as the junior attending/partner taking the undesirable cases from your colleagues (i.e., your power to pick and choose will be limited when you first start out), but there are enough urologists who want to do big whacks/long cases, I don't think you'll be forced to do 10-hr operations if that's not your thing.  I hear some programs are actually considering an "office urology" track, for people who want to spend their careers doing prostate needle biopsies and vasectomies in the office.  Plus, as one of my attending mentors reminded me when I sought his advice, finishing a urology residency does not pidgeonhole you into any career track.  You could become a writer afterwards if you wanted to.The second thing is, there is a moment (or several) in residency when you are completely overwhelmed by how much you don't know, and particularly how hopeless you are technically.  The moment often occurs in the R3 year, when every 6-hr case is an exercise in inadequacy.  But this passes.  In a way, surgery is like any other technical skill, the more you do it, the better you get.  And as I found, the better I got, the more I enjoyed it.  I'm an R4 now with lots more training left ahead of me, but I am super glad I picked urology and stayed with it.  It really is amazing.My point is, you may not figure out whether you "like" long surgery cases until you're almost done with residency, but regardless, this is a specialty that has enough variety that it's ok if you don't want to be a big whack surgeon.

mcman90
are loud extroverted

are loud extroverted personalities the norm? because the urology resident's ive met haven't been like that.