What’s up, party people? Hey. Good morning. Cheers. Hey, thanks for watching this video.
In this video, I’m gonna talk about why it (bleep)ing sucks to be a resident but why you need to just do it the first couple years because eventually you’re gonna be okay. I was talking, actually, with one of my friends last night. We were talking about residency. How bad it was, and in the beginning – this is real important – in the beginning, the first year, maybe even second year for certain surgical specialties, you feel like you’re not learning anything. You feel like you’re not really becoming a surgeon or not learning the technique of surgery.
For me, since I was 17, that’s all I wanted to do is just to be a surgeon. And I didn’t really want to be a doctor. I didn’t really care about being a doctor, but in order to be a surgeon, you gotta be a doctor. So that’s where I went, but what I really wanted to do is learn operations.
Because I was a bit of a nerd and I played a lot of video games when I was younger – I would play 15 hours a day sometimes in college, which was probably why I didn’t do very good in college. Nonetheless, I thought that that gave me an advantage when it came to technical manipulation, which it did. Hand/eye coordination. I thought I would be really good at this because I played video games all the time, and they’re sometimes very frustrating. And you really have to stick with it before you end up gaining the skill in the game to be able to beat the game or whatever.
I thought that translated pretty well to surgery, which it actually does. Sometimes surgery is very frustrating, and you have to have good hand/eye coordination and manual dexterity.
I’ll tell you a quick story. When I was a fourth-year resident, we started doing laparoscopic surgery – advanced laparoscopic surgery. So they told me I was the best resident they’ve seen with natural skill in seven to 10 years, and I attribute that just to me playing a (bleep)load of video games, which is funny. And I say natural in quotes because it’s not natural. It’s practice. It’s just- and surgery’s the same. It’s just practice. The more you do it, the faster you get, the better you are.
What I wanted to say was first couple years of surgery residency is like, do you remember Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi? Daniel-san? It’s like that, so Mr. Miyagi tells Daniel-san paint the fence. Daniel-san paints the fence. Come back the next day, right? Sand the floor, all that stuff. Daniel-san, after a month of that, Daniel’s like, “This is bull(bleep)! I’m not learning (bleep)ing karate! What the (bleep)?” But then Mr. Miyagi starts fighting with him, and Daniel realizes that he learned all these things. He didn’t even know he was doing it, so that’s what the first couple years of surgery residency is like is that you’re doing all this paperwork bull(bleep). Seeing patients all the time. You’re not really seeing- You’re not really learning, you’re not improving your surgery, you’re not getting the surgery – those operations – down. But what you’re doing is you’re seeing thousands of patients, and that’s what you need to do in order to be able to clinically judge those patients later when you’re on your own.
This is something that, when you take the difference between a PA who learns all the book stuff and they come out. They’re like, “Hey, I learned everything. I’m just like a doctor.” And PAs are great, but they need, then, the clinical experience to correlate that book knowledge. And so that’s the same thing with surgery residency.
You do it first. You get all the clinical knowledge. You don’t even know you’re doing it, but you’re seeing patients everyday. And you’re seeing which ones are sick and not sick and are on the wrong trajectory or the right trajectory and are gonna go down the toilet in the next two hours, or they’re gonna be okay. And you need that intuitive judgment to be able to function as a physician and to be able to function as a surgeon later to take care of lots of patients and do operations.
The operations- actually, one of my mentors used to say, “You can teach a monkey to do the operations. It’s not that hard.” Some of them are…Technically, it’s difficult to begin with. And you end up doing it a lot, and so it’s pretty…Not easy, but you get good at it. And some people get good faster than others or whatever, but eventually, if you do it enough, you’ll be good at it. Most of the operations are really not unlearnable, right? Let’s put it that way.
Anyway, I just wanted to shoot that quick video to tell you about my analogy between Mr. Miyagi, Daniel-san, and surgery. First couple of years of surgery residency, I thought it was brilliant ’cause I’m really…Nah, I’m just kidding. I thought it was a good analogy, and maybe it’ll help you understand what you’re getting into when you get into it. Not to be frustrated ’cause I was really frustrated for the first couple years. I was faxing things, writing orders, doing potassium replacements, all this (bleep) I didn’t wanna do. In the end, what I was doing is learning…Getting clinical knowledge.
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