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How to be a succesful surgeon?

kha7577kha7577 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
edited June 2007 in Careers in Medicine
Can somebody tell what a surgeon must learn and to be suceesful in his field?

can somebody also describe to me a typical day for a surgeon?


thx for any replies
Post edited by kha7577 on

Replies to: How to be a succesful surgeon?

  • AlissaAlissa Registered User Posts: 97 Junior Member
    ^^good question =)
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    I mean, the most important thing to learn is anatomy. Why are you asking?
  • kha7577kha7577 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    I want to know how is the typical day for a surgeons?
  • Opie ofMaybery2Opie ofMaybery2 - Posts: 1,815 Member
    I think it goes like this .... say all your prayers, eat all your vetagbles, obey your mom and dad... No wait that was to be a patches pal.

    I would think that one of the main attractions of the medical field is there are no such things as typical days.

    What you should do is ask your doctor or a surgeon to let you job shadow for a day to get a feel for things.
  • bluedevilmikebluedevilmike Registered User Posts: 11,964 Senior Member
    I spent a summer shadowing an orthopedic surgeon. He was well-established in his private practice career. He got to the hospital at 5:30 AM and stayed until 7 PM most days.

    Surgical residencies are widely considered the most brutal residency, and this is already when the normal ones (i.e. internal medicine) work for eighty hours a week. Nowadays, rules -- which are loosely adhered to -- mandate that residents work no more than thirty hours straight. "Back in the day", many surgical residents would be working for two months straight: always on call, always in the hospital, always ready to jump the moment an attending wanted some menial labor. (They would often sublet their apartments during such shifts.)
  • kha7577kha7577 Registered User Posts: 56 Junior Member
    can surgeons "have a life"?
  • ASMAJASMAJ Registered User Posts: 2,097 Senior Member
    Here are the typical days of surgeons of different levels.

    surgery resident PGY 7 typical work week..

    during the week my hours are typically 6am-6pm (and thats M-F, no way around that!)
    for interns, its probably more like 5am-6pm since they pre-round.

    on RARE occasion, i stay late until around 8 or 9 due to a sick patient or late case.
    on those few days that i escape before 4 or 5, i somehow (sick as it may seem) feel like i'm "getting away with something". surgeons can be ridiculously masochistic i guess.

    i typically do a day every other weekend of call, so that can add 20-30 hrs. often now, though, we do "Home call" as chiefs so that entails just getting up to round, being at the hospital 3 hrs or so and being "available" for the rest of the day.

    usually have at least one weekend and more often 2 per month that you are completely off work and pager from friday night to monday morning.

    its really not that bad. i've gotten much more efficient with what i do in my free time. its certainly much better, to me, with the "80 hour" thing.
    nonetheless it sucks sometimes, and i have to remind myself that i choose this job everyday (some days, easier than others).

    Surgery beast fellow...

    Monday: OR day - so am here from around 0700 to perhaps 1700 or 1800 depending on case load and other work needed to be done.

    Tues: am conferences and clinic day - here from 0700 to around 1700

    Wed: usually academic day (ie, off) but occasionally we add in an extra case or I spend the day in the Plastics office (so 0900 to around 1600)

    Thurs: clinic day again, start 0830 to 1630 or so

    Friday: OR again; 0700 to late afternoon, again depending on the schedule.

    Weekends are usually off, unless we have patients in house or I have other paperwork to catch up on. No call and despite my asking the nurses to call me when we do have an inpatient, they are used to calling the intern, so I rarely get paged at night.

    Surgery residency was a much different story - especially in the days before the 80 hr workweek (my first 3 years).

    Typically Gen Surgery PGY-2...

    Monday to Friday:
    Come into the hospital between 4-6 am, round, go to the OR between 7-8, stay until 12-4. Finish up work, leave between 6-7 pm. Clinic replaces the OR 1-2 days a week.

    Saturday and Sunday:
    Come in around 6-7 am, round, finish up work, leave around 11-1.

    Call is usually Q4 overnight, or Q2-3 home call. Average one day off a week.

    General Surgery

    M-F: Days start 5-6 am and end 6 to 8pm (12-15 hr days)
    Weekends: Only come in if you are on call.
    Call is Q3-Q4, come in at usual time during weekedays, 7-8am on weekends. Leave around 1-2pm post call.
    This usually averages out to 90 hours/week, maybe slightly more.
    No home call. Your time is YOUR time when you leave the hospital.

    Attending surgeons have a HUGE amount of variablity. 60 hours/week is average (meaning for every attending working 80+ hours/week, there's one working in the 40s).
  • ASMAJASMAJ Registered User Posts: 2,097 Senior Member
    can surgeons "have a life"?

    They can but its harder for them than people with other jobs or people in other specialties. You will be working 80+ hours a week for 5 years compared to EM or anesthesiology who average 60hr.
This discussion has been closed.