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What are some of the ways that you deal with difficult situations that you face as a surgeon?

I want to become a doctor, and specifically a neurosurgeon. I know that it takes a long time, there is much to learn, and years of study to achieve this goal. I realize that I could face some situations that are difficult and that no matter how good I am, I may not be able to help everyone. What I am wondering about, is how you deal with situations that are difficult and stressful, especially those where you may not be able to save someone. I am interested in understanding more about how current surgeons cope with these difficult situations. #medicine #neurology #general-surgery #surgeons

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Patricia’s Answer

Hello Makayla, how wonderful that you have such a strong focus! You are wel informed I must say.
I have trained as medical professional alongside many doctors among which neurosurgeons and I have to say to become one is not that different from becoming any other kind of doctor. Everyday is a day to learn more about our vocation.
Yes it does take a long time to become a neurosurgeon as such, but the work and learning is never done. And yes there is a lot of stress, but it depends on your coping skills in everyday life on how high you allow the stress levels to rise to.
To answer your question on how to deal with stress: as you start your training as a medical doctor you develop skills and based on your question I can tell that you will be able to acquire the needed skills to learn to deal with stress. So don't worry abuot that part, you have enough time to learn.
Also don't be afraid to make mistakes, that saves you half the stress.
Doctoring you see is no different from any other vocation; to be a good employee and craftsman in any field, you need to know yourself very well, your competencies, your developing fields and your choices in each situation. If you know yourself, you know how to handle the people and situations.
It takes a long time to get to know yourself, but it seems to me, that you are on the right path.

Also being a doctor is not about saving people, but more about helping people. You can help someone understand the disease that they have, the choices that they need to make and most of all it is a hands-off approach when you can not help. If you are a capable surgeon but cannot operate then your work is done.

There are usually a lot of people in the hospital then just the doctor, e.g. the nurses, the pyschologist etc who can can do a good job where you cannot. You are always part of a team when working in a job, and if you appreciate your team, the work gets easier. Hope you find this answer useful....