The Brandeis Summer Shadowing Program was a great experience and I am so glad that I was able to participate in it. I made many lasting memories and learned even more valuable lessons about the medical field. Dr. Sher was an amazing mentor and I cannot thank him enough for all of his help and support.
One of my biggest takeaways is that medicine is really team oriented. Even though the surgeon will be the one making the cuts, it is the entire surgical team that must work together to ensure a successful operation. One example is I never realized how important surgical counts were until I observed an operation. The scrub nurses are responsible for keeping track of the surgical counts and if even one sponge is left unaccounted for the operation cannot be declared finished. They also make sure the surgeon has all of the equipment to perform the operation. I have learned this can be become very challenging in more complex operations. I really like the team atmosphere involved in surgery and it suits me well as I enjoy working with others towards a common goal.
The summer shadowing program has also shown me the high intensity of surgery. The very first day I shadowed Dr. Sher I asked him if he felt it was difficult to maintain a healthy work life and balance. He said that it was difficult, but definitely possible. The next thing he said really stuck with me, “In life if you want to be excellent at something you have to put a lot of time into it, surgery is no different.” Surgery itself is a balancing act where the patient’s life may lie in the balance. Excellence is a requirement not a goal, which is why being a surgeon is a difficult lifestyle. It is a definitely a lifestyle I would consider and my experiences during this program have offered great insight into being a surgeon.
Once again, I would like to thank Dr. Sher and his team for all of their help during this program. I would also like to thank the volunteer department for helping me through the tedious clearance process. This program has been unforgettable, and it has helped me learn many great lessons.