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What is a typical day for you like?

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Richard’s Answer

Medical school: The first 2 years will be similar to college. Lecture between 3 and 6 hours. Lab up to 3 hours. Studying for an additional 4 to 6 hours.

Second 2 years of medical school are more oriented to patient care. During clinic or hospital rounds you will evaluate patients and report your findings to residents or attending physicians. If you are on a surgical rotation, you can scrub in to the cases but will mainly observe and learn. They will then critique your evaluation and teach you relevant information. There are occasional lectures. You will have to study textbooks on your own time

During resisdency, the clinic and hospital rounds occupy a majority of your day. If you choose a surgical speciality you will continue to scrub in and be given more and more duties as your skill progresses. Studying will now be oriented more toward reading research articles. Taking call means spending all night in hospital working with occasional cat naps between cases.

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Rachel’s Answer

The days of surgical residency tend to be longer than those of surgeons out in practice. As a surgical resident you arrive at the hospital between 5 and 6 am. You make rounds on your hospitalized patients and make sure they are doing well. You then report to the operating room and spend the rest of the day operating on your patients. About twice per week you will go to clinic instead of the operating room in order to see patients who need surgery or have recently undergone surgery. During training, the hours are long and you will work about 80 hours a week. Once you have completed residency, you will have more flexibility. However, you will still most likely need to take night and weekend call.