Cardiothoracic Surgery Shadowing Experience

Last year, I did a medical specialty questionnaire that tells you specialties that suit you.  I have been getting pathology from other similar questionnaires and I expected the same result. But I got a cardiothoracic surgery this time, which was not even on my radar. So I shadowed a cardiothoracic surgeon last spring. The surgery was an aortic valve replacement. I was with a couple of other students, observing the procedure from the anesthesiology station, which is normally at the head of the table.  I was so mesmerized by a beating heart in front me. I have seen hearts in gross anatomy labs. But a real beating heart in someone's chest is something totally else. It was even out of this life when they stopped the heart to fix it and then brought it back to life. The perfusionists put the patient on bypass machine that works in place of your heart and lungs while the surgeon fixes the heart. 

However, it is the first time my gut feeling scared the s*** out of me.

Well I am in love. I am not sure if I could live without looking at a beating heart. I am exaggerating it right now, because the experience is so fresh. My opinion might change in the future after I see more of medicine during third year.  But the point is I am addicted. I have a gut feeling that it is something I could do rest of my life. I followed my gut feeling when I decided to be a physician and I followed my gut feeling when I decided to do my PhD. My gut feeling never disappointed me, so I am tempted to follow my gut. However, it is the first time my gut feeling scared the s*** out of me. I am honestly scared and intimidated by this feeling. I don't know if I have what it takes to be a surgeon... 

"You practice on cadavers. You observe. And you think you know what you're gonna feel like standing over that table but ... that was such a high. I don't know why anybody does drugs." Meredith Grey

I also saw the lungs as well and they are so amazing when they are actually ventilating in real life. Last year, I found the lungs so boring, because they were not much to them in gross anatomy lab. But in real life, the lungs are just as mesmerizing as the heart. They move.... Do you see the pattern here? I think I love things that move. I would love to see lung surgeries in the future. Also I learned that cardiothoracic surgeons operate on esophagus, and apparently robotic surgeries are the thing in esophageal surgeries these days. I am going to see what I can do to see one of those and report back. Anyways that is it  for today.