Scalpel's Edge

A surgeon's notes

Weekend Waning

General surgery is the coolest, most exhilerating job.

It’s Sunday, more than halfway through a 36 hour weekend shift and my 10th day in a row. My energy levels are pretty low. But I am doing the coolest job I know.

Yesterday I ruled out colon cancer. I took out a pus filled, manky appendix. I helped bring blood supply to someone’s twisted bowel, saving her from a stoma (or bag). I stabbed someone in the bum and he thanked me for it.

I love my job so hard. I am still a trainee, and every day I learn new things and I make wrong steps. The next time I do better. Humility sits on my shoulder like a guardian angel, reminding me to requestion and recheck and keep my mind open.

But every day I get to make people smile. Sometimes I get to tell them good news. Sometimes I get to be with them while they deal with bad news. Sometimes I just get to squeeze pus.

Despite long hours and living away from home, I get to keep the joy.

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