Monday, January 15, 2007

Addendum to Last Posts

In my last post, I yet again exhaustively detailed what I like and dislike about various career choices, and made a stab at guessing what I might end up doing. It has been brought to my attention, however, that I forgot an important point, or several. So here we go, part deux:

Potentially Interesting:
ENT: I knew I was forgetting to mention something. ENT could definitely be cool. Head and neck surgery could be exhilarating. My sister had chronic otitis externa as a child (which is rare) and she visited an ENT every 6 months or so for ear cleaning (we always knew it was time for her to go because she'd become hard of hearing and we'd have to holler at her). Her ENT was an unbelievably nice lady; thus, a positive experience.

ENT has outpatient clinic, OR time, and inpatient non-critical care. Many inpatient ENT patients may be in critical care, needing trachs and such, but the ENT is not managing any of it; they place the trach and sign off.

ENT is a 5 year residency and is also very competitive. (Oh, and I looked up local urology programs, and 2 of the 3 are 6 years, not 5).

Flying Below the Radar:
PM&R: I've never really thought about it.
Geriatrics: Nuh-uh.
Nuclear Medicine: What do they DO, really, other than stress tests and VQ scans and HIDA scans? It sounds like a fancy version of radiology.

More No-No's!
Oncology: We've discussed that I'm a wuss, right?
Orthopedic Surgery: I'm not very good at lifting heavy objects. I also like to think that I am not very much like The Todd.
Pathology: I do *occasionally* like to see patients. Living patients. Although autopsies could be cool.
Plastic Surgery: I think this could be extremely cool, and it would be extremely gratifying to do reconstructive surgery. So, what's the problem? a) I don't really love skin grafts. At least, not on a daily basis. b) I wouldn't want to deal with 16 year old girls asking for boob jobs. c) Most importantly, being a good plastic surgeon requires a special kind of vision, an ability to picture in advance what you're going to be able to accomplish. It's almost like being an engineer.

I spent a semester and a half in biomedical engineering in college. I hated it. I could not take the principles of physics and apply them to raw materials to BUILD something that would operate according to certain parameters. For example, I can build something with wheels and I'll be certain it will roll. I canNOT build something with wheels that we wind up with rubber bands and get it to stop on a certain spot (the distance was randomly chosen by the prof, and then we had to adjust the car). Despite having two engineer grandfathers, I just cannot think that way.

After watching some plastic surgery shows with before and after shots, I've come to appreciate what this vision can do. "I take off a snippet here, and a tuck there, and your nose will look like Jennifer Aniston's nose." I can tweak, and take a little off here and there and play with the outcome, but I doubt I could properly appreciate the physics and aesthetics of the human body enough to rebuild it stronger, faster.


I think I've covered the big specialties, as far as ERAS is concerned. As The Fake Doctor over at Ah Yes, Medical School likes to say, it's not too late to go to business school.


Jessica said...

I think you might be my favorite medical student blogger. Thanks for answering the ENT question. I was surprised I liked it since I didn't like the other surgical specialties.

I did biomedical engineering in college. I don't have the knack for making stuff work my husband has though.


Allison said...

I'm famous! Woo! Go otitis externa!

Jenn said...

To Jessica: aw, thanks! I really like your blog, too!

To Allison: well, of course you're famous! Duh!