Today our team was up, dressed and ready for breakfast at 7 am. After gulping down a surprisingly delicious breakfast porridge, the surgical team (myself included) headed for Good Samaritan Hospital to greet our first patient. The day’s lineup would include four patients, two males and two females. Procedures would include a laparoscopic cholecystectomy, two inguinal hernia repairs, and a lipoma excision.
Though I have very little experience in the OR, I was able to notice a few differences between Dominican and American surgical practice. For one thing, the OR door remained open for the duration of each surgery. People came in and out at their leisure and cell phone use was perfectly acceptable at any time. My colleagues and I were taking pictures and texting in the OR as the surgeons operated. One thing I find very interesting about Dominican medical practice is the emphasis on religion. There is a painting on the wall as you enter the OR which perfectly depicts what I am trying to say.
Overall, this day has been a wonderful experience. When I was a child, I wanted to be a surgeon. Now I remember why I wanted this. I watched as the surgeons worked tirelessly with such concentration and grace. Patient after patient, they never faltered. It truly felt like a miracle had occurred each time a surgery was completed.