“Most of us look back and ‘boy it would have been nice if we didn’t have to spend four years at med school and we knew we were gonna be orthopedic.’ Those people who want to become an orthopedic surgeon for say, would do two or three years and focus on the things primarily needed to go into practice in orthopedics. And then even with that said, orthopedic residency is five years. So my first year of residency was what we call an internship and at the time I did my internship, I didn’t do any orthopedic surgery that first year. I rotated through a bunch of different general surgical sub-specialties, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, general surgery, so I didn’t do any orthopedics. And that’s changed now. We were saying, we spent a whole year, It’s great, I learned how to take out an appendix and learned how to do vascular repairs, which in an emergency situation I guess I could do it, but in practicality did I need to spend a whole year doing non-orthopedic stuff? So now they’ve actually changed it, you are an orthopedic resident for five years. You do rotate through some surgical specialties, but you don’t spend a whole year doing it, you do more orthopedics as an intern now, which makes more sense. Residency now has you spend more time in your particular chosen field, which is, I think, better.”

“So I took, I took not the most conventional path. So most people, they’ll go to undergrad, get their undergraduate degree, apply to a medical school, and get accepted. And that’s probably the majority of applicants to medical school get in directly from undergrad. I did not get accepted. I applied late, which wasn’t good, I had a limited number of applications in. At the time I was applying there was different deadlines date and I missed them all except the state schools. So my best shot was really in your own state, which was UConn. I did not get accepted. So if you don’t get accepted to med school the first time out, you can do a couple different things. You can just wait till the next year and reapply. Or most people would advise doing something constructive that would actually improve your standing in some way by obtaining another degree in something. As opposed to just work in a lab or working in some biological sciences or something to try to improve your CV or improve your odds of getting in. So I chose to get a Master’s in physiology degree in one year. They had a program at Georgetown itself that allowed you to kinda do an accelerated masters degree. So for me I thought that would be the best thing that would increase my odds of getting an acceptance the following year. So that was called the masters and physiology program, and I was actually taking classes directly with the medical, the first-year med students, certain human physiology classes, some of the chemistry classes, so it allow me to sit in with the med school and I was able to compare my grades with the first-year med students, and so was the school itself. So I ended up getting into Georgetown that year because I completed my degree in that year while while I applied to med school. So that I think helped my chances of getting in. So I have a Masters of Science in addition to the medical doctorate.”

“I love biology. I really did, to me, it just came to me pretty easily, and maybe because I enjoy it so much. I just loved the biological sciences, I love studying it, it was what fascinated me the most. So it was great because that’s where my interest was and that makes it so that going through medical school you have a good background and your undergraduate background kind of helps fortify what you’re learning in med school.”

“We tend to be traditionalists and one of the things that’s changed in the last couple of years where some of the older doctors who went through the older system, there was unlimited work hours, you could put in a 120 hours a week during residency and that was sort of the tradition, like it was residency/internship, it was just hard and you spend a lot of time and with very little sleep and unfortunately errors could be made and people can suffer from it. So things have changed in that regard. Where now there’s 80 hour work week limits and you have to go home if you spent over night in the hospital by noon the next day. So the challenge to that is, a lot of us who trained before that happened, said, well there was so many things I saw even though I was tired or still following up with the patient that I saw that day. There’s something, maybe you’re losing education, or you’re losing learning, or you’re losing some information, if you only have an 80 hour work week and you get to go home, because then what happens once you leave residency? There is no such thing as a restriction on your work hours, are going to be prepared to do unlimited hours once you get into practice. Are going to be able to do that? And residency, should it be harder? Some people say, well, it’s not work when you’re a resident, those are learning hours lost, not work hours cut. It’s an interesting way of perceiving it, but I think that that’s true to a certain extent. I don’t think people should be exhausted and tired and so tired that they crash their car and get killed on the way home from the hospital, provisions need to be made for that. But I think there’s a lot to learn in a surgical specialty and five-year seems like a long time, but you just can’t possibly learn it all, and cutting the work hours by third or something like that may not make you a better doctor. And they’ve looked into it they’ve researched it and tried to see is limiting work hours and making sure there’s more protected time for studies, is that improving the scores on these, what they call a training exams, that you take throughout residency and there’s no evidence that it has really significantly impact a resident’s ability to learn more by going home and being less tired, that hasn’t and quite shown. So it’s a very controversial topic and they’re trying different things. But right now, I think we’re going to be stuck with this 80 hour work week, but I don’t know if that’s staying. It doesn’t happen often, but when you’re in practice and you’re on call, and it’s just one of those days where it’s non-stop from morning til night, where you need to be able to roll with it and keep going. You go into the field knowing what to expect and it’s not an easy process, and it should be a difficult process, you have a lot of responsibility.”