Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
An update on Drew's front - he received a 76 on his written surgery exam... which is not his best performance but it is enough to qualify him for honors in surgery. Honors is based on his clinical exam, written exam and the doctor's evals of him - it will be a few more weeks before we find out about that. Drew is currently working on his CV (curriculum vitae) so that he can have someone look over it and give him some recommendations. The main hole is his volunteer experience, but that can be easily addressed. Also some random information pertaining to residencies... one negative about neurosurgery is that most of the programs are very small (1 or 2 residents admitted each year) which makes it even more competitive and difficult to end up in a preferable location. A negative statistic we learned about orthopedic surgery is "According to a study published in the March, 1998 issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, 'there is a surplus of orthopaedic surgeons today and that current training levels will create an even larger surplus in 2010.' "
For those of you just tuning in Drew has come to the realization that he wants to be a surgeon. He has not yet narrowed down his specialization but his top three choices (in no particular order) are:
Orthopedic Surgery - An orthopaedic surgeon is trained in the preservation, investigation and restoration of the form and function of the extremities, spine, and associated structures by medical, surgical and physical means. Residency in orthopaedic surgery consists of one year of general surgery training followed by four years of orthopaedic surgery training (five years total). Two years in clinical practice following residency is required before final certification. One year of additional training is required to practice in one of the subspecialty areas.
Neurological Surgery - A neurological surgeon provides the operative and non-operative management of disorders of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems including the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, and muscles, as well as the blood vessels that relate to these structures. Residency training in neurological surgery lasts five to seven years, the first year of which is a general clinical/surgery training year. Neurosurgical residents are trained in all aspects of neurosurgery, including cerebrovascular, pediatrics, spine, trauma and tumor.
Cardiothoracic Surgery - A thoracic surgeon provides the operative, perioperative care and critical care of patients with pathologic conditions within the chest. Included is the surgical care of coronary artery disease, cancers of the lung, esophagus and chest wall, abnormalities of the trachea, great vessels and heart valves, congenital anomalies, tumors of the mediastinum and diseases of the diaphragm. Residency training in thoracic surgery is seven to eight years total, consisting of a general surgery residency of five years before completing a minimum two year thoracic surgery residency.
(Not my language by the way - just copied and pasted from the careers in medicine website.
Tomorrow I hear whether baby Hare is a boy or a girl!
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We are still waiting to hear Drew's test results from surgery. Last week Drew met with Dr. Espinoza (I probably spelled that wrong), the neurosurgeon Drew shadowed. Dr. E answered some of Drew's questions and he told him about Peoria's neurosurgery residency program. Although I am not particularly (at all) interested in Peoria I found it interested that the program sticks to the law that limits residents to working no more than an average of 80 hours a week over a 4 week period. Dr. E said that in his 13 years at SIU only ONE student has gone into neurosurgery! Next month Drew is going to meet with another Dr. from SIU to try and get contacts from other programs. We are hoping this research will give him a better idea of whether any of the programs interest him and more importantly whether neuro is what he wants to do.
P.S. I am feeling much better with the help of my z-pack!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday we headed to Southbend, IN for a wedding. Both the bride and groom are ND alums so the wedding was most naturally Irish themed with navy dresses and gold sashes. It was beautiful (and fun), but I was a little under the weather and only lasted until 10:30.
Today when we got back in town I headed straight to prompt care - turns out I have some kind of infection in my throat (and I think sinuses).... so I am going to work from home tomorrow. I had better get back to addressing Christmas cards, we are very behind this year.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Saturday, December 6, 2008
This week wrapped up the end of Drew's surgery clerkship. Those ten weeks really flew by! On Thursday he had his clinical exam (where they saw fake patients and had to summarize a diagnosis and treament/management plans). Then on Friday he had his written test. We are hoping he did well because although you can still get into a surgical residency without surgical honors, it makes it a little more difficult. We should have the results of the test in about two weeks, but it will be about 4-6 weeks before we find out his clerkship grade (they factor in his doctor evaluations into his grade).
The last two weeks (half-weeks really with the holiday and then his exam) he was in colorectal. Surprisingly Drew actually found these surgeries interesting, but not interesting enough for him to want to put them on his "list." He simply says he can't see himself working on that end of the body his whole life.
Last week at Thanksgiving Drew got to talk to my cousin's wife Julie about her experience as a physician's assistant in neurosurgery at the University of Iowa. After his conversation Drew said he thinks that it is something he can manage. I don't doubt that he can manage anything - what I doubt is if I can handle the hours he is gone. What freaked me out was when Julie said that her residents usually work about 120 hours a week on average, but it was reassuring when she told us that Iowa is one of the more intense residency programs. In fact she said that they usually lose at least one resident a year. I think the key (for me) will be trying to find a surgical residency program that is closer to averaging 80-100 hours a week (if they do in fact exist). Which now that Drew is no longer in his surgery rotation he should have a lot more time to actually research the diffferent types of surgical residency programs.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Also while I am adding videos I thought I would add a video of Gina and my Dad playing Wii boxing... it is not recent but it is highly entertaining... I hope you enjoy it as well!
(Click on the picture to play the videos)
Monday, December 1, 2008
Sunday morning we went to Aurora for Christmas shopping with the Spencers and then fought the snow storm on the road home. But we made it home last night all safe and sound. So that was our weekend in a nutshell. I will post more later about Drew's experience with colo-rectal surgery.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It was a busy week, Drew had a full week of cardio-thoracic surgery, and my parents came to visit. We had a lovely time with them, which was 24 hours filled with good restaurants and quite a bit of Christmas shopping!
Drew seemed to like cardio-thoracic so it is on the "short-list" of possible surgical careers. During his week he participated in/observed a carotid artery, a carotid artery cleaning, a couple lung resections, the removal of an esophagus and bypass surgery. He seemed to really like the procedures but his problem with this specialty is dealing with patients who have no intention of changing their lifestyles. For example the bypass surgery was for 7 clogged arteries - I am not even sure how to say that - a septuple bypass? And unfortunately the patient has no intention of quitting smoking even after undergoing such a major surgery. Oh, and the other interesting fact is that Drew said the surgeon was so good he completed all 7 bypasses in 3 and a half hours!This week Drew starts colo-rectal surgery; one that Drew has already crossed off the list. He says he does not want to work on that end of the body and (his quote) "it is a crappy* rotation."
*insert another adjective here
Luckily with Thanksgiving he will only have three days this week and two days next week. He has Thursday through Sunday off and we couldn't be more thrilled! In the past 9 weeks he has gotten only one weekend off. So to get four consecutive days off seems unheard of! It is hard to believe that next week is his last week of surgery - this fall has FLOWN by. But the exciting part is that in the next few months he will have a bit more time to do a little research which may help him narrow down his specialty choice.
The other morning I had a revelation that I am still having trouble wrapping my head around. I realized that we may never have weekends like a normal couple/family. I look forward to weekends to travel to see family and friends, or when we are lucky and they visit us. While he has only had Sundays off since August (with a few exceptions) this situation is only temporary, until December. Then he should have both Saturdays and Sundays off in the Month of December and we are hoping he might have a few weekends off during his spring rotations. Spring rotations are much less intense (6 weeks each) than his two fall rotations (surgery and internal medicine). Not to mention he had weekends off this past summer which allowed us to see family and friends. So I guess I am just struggling with the issue of not having the convenience of getting two consecutive days with my husband a week (or even a month). I guess I have known this, but I guess it just recently clicked. He tells me that during his residency he may occasionally be able to take a weekend off, but for the most part he will work every weekend. And the worst part - based on his short-list, his residency will be 6-8 years; and it may not improve after that. But those are surgeons' hours and it will be something I will have to learn to deal with (hopefully by spending lot of time with friends and family).
Well I have to get back to wrapping Christmas presents! With Gina and Damien heading to France for Christmas, and my parents heading to Florida, we are doing our Bianchi Christmas THIS weekend!
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Today was a busy day for me too - after working out and going into work until 4 I ran around Springfield to do some Christmas shopping. Which the reason I went into work for most of the day was because I am trying to rack up some extra hours because I am hoping to take some time off Thursday because my parents are coming in town! This is huge because my Dad has not come to visit me in DeKalb or Decatur or Springfield where I have lived the past 3 and a half years. Anyways afterwork I ran to Hobby Lobby, JoAnn fabrics, Factory Card Outlet and Barnes and Nobles. (The picture is from all my purchases). Needless to say I have lots of wrapping and Christmas crafting to do. I will post my successful/failed crafts later this week. Time to get to work!