On more than one occasion, I’ve shared my desire to pursue microsurgery with some of the residents and attendings, and on more than one occasion, I’ve been told that I just don’t have that kind of personality. An upperclassmen said I’m “too happy-go-lucky” and not “stern enough” to fit in with the surgeon stereotype. A resident told me that I “enjoy talking to patients too much to want to spend my time locked down in an operating room.” 😯
There’s something to say about the idiosyncrasies of surgeons, but I don’t feel they’re representative of the entire group. My wanting to be a surgeon has little to do with a power-trip or money – it’s all about tying my love of technology with tactile healing. Also, playing computer games on a routine basis has given me really, really good eye-hand coordination. 😉
As far as my jovial personality, well, if it really is that rare amongst surgeons, then so be it. It makes little difference to me if I “fit in” as long as my patients receive the best care. Though I have yet to start my clinical rotation in surgery, it’s the only thing I’ve actively aspired to take on as a career for years. We’ll see if things change this autumn.