This past week I spent time observing thoracic surgery. This was the first time I saw surgery, as I found other topics more interesting/relevant for me, my research, and my personal goals for the program. However, one surgery in particular was very interesting. It was a bi-lobectomy. In this surgery, the 2 lower lobes from the right lung were removed. As a note, the right lung has 3 lobes, the left two (because the heart is in the way. The patient had lung cancer and resection (removal) was deemed to be the method with the highest chance of success. The reason two lobes were removed is because it was felt the cancer was large enough and was invading/compromising the second lobe. What I found interesting was that this decision was made in the OR and not before hand, which shows the adaptive nature of the OR. I did have to get used to the cauterization though. It looked like they were soldering the patient, and it threw me the first time I saw it.
The summer immersion program is almost over now, and I think that I did gain a better understanding of clinical practice. I am fairly sure this experience will spill over into my current collaborations, and will benefit me. It also gave me a better understanding of the need to be assertive. The programs structure does need refinement, however, but it is not a loss, especially if one tries to gain specific insight on one’s own. It would have been nice if the exact clinical experiences we were expected to have (and it did feel as if there explicit expectations) would have been spelled out clearly before hand.
I’m looking forward to returning home to my wife and child tomorrow. Happy 1st birthday, Aiden!