Saturday, August 6, 2011

Week 31: Surgery

week 31 (surgery ward)

week 31 (pgh) week 31 (pgh)
week 31 (lennie)
week 31 (sutures!) week 31 (suturing)
week 31 (breast clinic)

I spent most of my waking hours in the Surgery Department, my first rotation as an Integrated Clinical Clerk (ICC), a fancy name for a third year medical student in the UP College of Medicine.

I removed sutures from a 21-year old female who sustained head lacerations due to a vehicular crash. The trauma resident only did it once before he left Migz Catangui and I on our own devices. It was the see-one-do-one principle of learning; the young doctor still had to cater to a lot of patients in the clinic.  I'm thankful, though, that he still took the time to explain important things to us.

It was the first time I filled out a patient's chart, a piece of paper that would be passed on as the patient's official hospital record. I had to make the resident confirm the findings, and I'm glad he did. Just before she left, her aunt asked me to draft a clinical abstract for funding assistance.

It dawned on me that the reason why doctors have such awful handwriting, likened to the unintelligible scribbling of a fowl—forgive the allusion to the Ilonggo idiomatic expression, "daw kinahig sang manok"—is that there is simply a lot of paperwork to accomplish in so little time.

My block had a suturing session on pata, and I thank my friends Lee-Ann Caro and Migz Catangui for guiding me through the process. We all had a crispy pata the day after.

Perhaps the most memorable experience I had this week was our rotation at the Breast Clinic of the Cancer Institute. The Clinic is busy, catering to an average of 100 patients daily for free of charge. I expected the place to be depressing, but there was a lot of laughter, chatter, and friendly talk. The nurses were surprisingly accommodating.

There we met a 39-year old woman who came because of a recurrent breast mass. She seemed troubled and uncomfortable. Until she has the mass biopsied, we said, we could never be certain if the tumor is benign or malignant. I'm glad I got to work with Lennie Chua, a classmate whose example reminds me to look at patients as human beings, not disease entities.

This was a week of firsts. And I'm looking forward to the weeks ahead.

Labels: ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i'm looking forward to your rotation in ward 5 and ward 7, kuya lance. write about them please. i would love some update from my favorite wards in PGH.

i know you'll be a great doctor.:)

-ella lao

Mon Aug 08, 09:40:00 PM GMT+8  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kuya! Congrats on your first successful operation! :D -mike

Mon Aug 08, 10:55:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Hi, Flor (siyempre, Flor gihapon tawag ko sa imo!). Sure, I'll keep tabs on that request.

Salamat, Mike! I'll probably write about the experience soon.

Tue Aug 09, 06:04:00 AM GMT+8  

Post a Comment

<< Home