I'm in Colorado right now, studying for the second part of the National Board Exam.
I finished my subinternship in General Surgery have decided that it is most definately not for me. I was pretty depressed about the whole thing too because, well, if my end goal [now in question] is to go off into the jungle to operate ... then being a general surgeon is pretty much the best thing to be. Unfortunately, I have realized, I could never survive a General Surgery residency. I mean, physically, I probably could survive. Emotionally, I could probably pull through. Spiritually, I would die. I know, without a doubt, that 7 - 9 years of self-flogging would kill my idealism and my will to serve. My sense, from seeing residents here, is that a residency in General Surgery teaches you to value self-preservation above all else -- its a game of every man for himself.
I've realized that I function better in an environment where team-work is key. Its a lot more fun to work with people than to work against them. That's why I loved Ortho ... there were no hierachies of power to climb over to get shit done. People communicated clearly with each other without fear of being roasted or bullied by their seniors. People worked together, got stuff done, and had fun while they were at it. So ortho is looking like a pretty viable candidate for residency.
I looked into the possibility of my doing Ortho in the jungle ... entirely possible. In fact, I'm going to Haiti in February to do just that. Pro bono ortho work there. And then later on I'll be in India doing reconstructive hand surgery for leprosy patients.
So that's where things stand right now. There is a small part of me that thinks that in my heart of hearts, I really should be a family doc ... because I'm nice.