How to Thrive On a Rotation You Don’t Like

rotation you don't like

It is Friday afternoon at 4 pm. I’m headed to see a consult while simultaneously attempting to shove a granola bar in my mouth and respond to several pages. My intern is somewhere frantically discharging people and post-oping the day’s OR cases. My medical student lists along several feet behind me, dragging his feet and clearly hating life. The consult turns out to be operative, so I call my staff, book the OR, activate the emergency surgery pathway, consent the patient, talk to the family and write the note in rapid succession while my medical student hovers beside me. As I hit “sign” on my note, I hear the sharp intake of breath that heralds the coming question.
“Do you need me for anything else?”
“Well, we are taking this patient to the operating room. It should be a relatively quick, but interesting case. Would you like to join us?”
“I see. Well, you don’t have to. You can go.”
“Ok. Sounds good. Oh, and I was wondering, is it ok if I take this weekend off? My friend from college is getting married tomorrow and his bachelor party is tonight, so…”
“We usually have you guys round at least one day each weekend.”
“Oh, ok. It’s just that he’s, you know, my best friend, and I’m the best man, and I kinda have to stay out with him, so…”
“Fine. Have fun,” I respond, in a flat tone and turn back to my computer.

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Love and Happiness… And Medicine? Our Experience in the Couples Match

couples match

We were in the same class in medical school. It was your typical story. Boy meets girl, girl doesn’t like boy’s buzz cut, they waste a year, eventually end up as anatomy TAs working on the same dissection together, and fall in love. Standard. I knew that I was going to be a surgeon, he was thinking about ER. We moved in together. We talked about getting married. Then he went out for third year rotations and I started the Anatomy Fellowship at our school. He did Surgery mid-way through the year. To my concern, though not to my surprise, he loved it. He loved it the way I loved it. We talked seriously about what this would mean for us, both for our relationship and for our careers. We had always assumed that when the Match rolled around that we would participate in the Couples Match. Couples matching into Surgery seemed like a long shot, but we both knew we couldn’t be satisfied in another field, that we were surgeons at heart. So we decided we had to try.

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