The Surgeon's Logbook

surgery + medicine + photography + food + travel




The Makings of a Master Surgeon


For the past two days the second and third years have been attending surgical skills workshops organized by the department. We’ve been practicing vascular and bowel anastomosis on rubber tubes and cow intestines hopefully developing our skills and building confidence when the time comes when we’re the ones who’ll be doing these on actual patients.

These two essential skills of any surgeon, are probably the two toughest to master. So many morbidities, even mortalities, come from the “poor surgical technique” factor, begging the importance of these two workshops.

While med students practice on pigs legs on basic suturing, we residents also have this. Hehe

We’re also very honored to have been taught by the masters, Dr Concejero for the vascular anastomosis, famous for being one of the vascular surgeons of the first liver transplant in recent years; and Dr Dela Paz showing his superb skills on bowel anastomosis.

This is definitely a milestone in the makings of a master sugeon.

I am Happy

Lately I’ve been feeling a little bit confused over my BIG life decisions coming my way. For the last 7 years, I’ve been confined only to the walls of UPCM and PGH just living my life determined ONLY by a very small box I ticked when I filled up my UPCAT application form last August 2002. I think the last MAJOR MAJOR decision that I made that made me a more specific person in society was to pursue the interview for Intarmed. I told myself then that if I didn’t make it, then medicine is not for me. But I did. And out of pure jest, I accepted my life and just went with the flow for the past 7 years…

Now that it’s all over, I’m at another MAJOR MAJOR crossroad. Last week I passed an application form for Surgery residency in PGH. How I made my decision is a another story on its own. On one hand, I amused myself with going into Pediatrics — the easier way since my mom is a Pediatrician. On the other, of course, I wanted to pursue a career I’ve been dreaming of since I first laid my eyes on FHM our first lecture in surgery.

Pediatrics was my actually first love, and when I entered medicine in 2005, that was my goal. Eventually, the crying kids and disrespectful mothers caught up with me, and soon I found myself liking surgery more and more.

Training in surgery is great, and the lifestyle of a surgeon fits my personality more. I really want to become a surgeon, but it’s the long, arduous, and hardcore training years is what I’m reluctant to go through. Practice wise, I’m definitely going to have a DIFFICULT time establishing my own practice. Definitely NOT the easier path.

Until that day in PGH when I finally filled up my application form, I prayed and heard a voice in my head to tick “[ ] Surgery”. The hesitation was definitely there. Up until recently, especially that the entrance exam is about to take place in 2 days, my head is still in a blur. Am I ready to make THIS decision? A decision that I should NEVER EVER regret for the rest of my life? Is this what I really want? Will I be happy?

Then I read Kathy’s blog, and then Ivy reblogged the article below, and I began to enjoy reading Schwartz, and so many people affirmed my decision to pursue surgery…

I think I am happy. I should be. 🙂

What is happiness anyway? It hit me across the back of the head like an angry parent. There I was, minding my own business, wallowing about in a mopey state of woe at my dissatisfaction with my own life, when reality bit me fair on the butt. Hard. I regularly bang on (and on, and on) about the importance of independence, that is, not seeking a partner to complete ones-self, but rather, ones who complements us. I rant on about the importance of goals, incremental personal … Read More

via View from Wit’s End

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑