(Almost) Finished With Cardiac Anesthesia At The VA!

I have one more day of cardiothoracic anesthesiology at the Veterans Affairs Hospital. Tomorrow’s case will also be my most challenging one to date – a descending thoracic aorta aneurysm repair. I’ll finally get a spinal drain in residency. 🙂

An anesthesia rainbow! (purely for visual effect – I don’t think I’ve ever used these labels together in the same case).

Tomorrow will also be the last time I step foot in the Veterans Affairs Hospital as a trainee. I remember first speaking to VA patients admitted for CHF or COPD exacerbations as a second year medical student on my core internal medicine rotation, and over five years later, I’m now taking care of these brave men and women as a senior anesthesia resident. I’ve garnered a truly humbling and unparalleled set of educational experiences with this patient population. 🙂

Come Thursday, I’ll be returning to the hospital which has fostered most of my development as a clinician – our level one trauma center/county hospital. Its been nearly a year since I last stepped foot in the general/trauma operating rooms (on my neuroanesthesia rotation), and so much has changed! I’ll be coming off a very long aneurysm repair and be in the neurosurgery operating room… and the late-stay resident. Here’s hoping I survive the transition to a new rotation!

I leave you with two rules a cardiothoracic anesthesia attending, Dr. Les Yarmush, gave me during his week on service:

Rule #1: Don’t think.
Rule #2: Don’t help.

And if you ever think you’re helping, see rule #1.

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